Aussies were 'spoilt brats', says coach Langer

By AFP
Published: June 14, 2018
SHARES
Email
Australian coach Justin Langer said that as a former player he "nearly died" when he heard about the scandal. PHOTO: AFP

Australian coach Justin Langer said that as a former player he "nearly died" when he heard about the scandal. PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY: New coach Justin Langer says the Australian sides were behaving like “spoilt brats” ahead of the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal and Steve Smith wasn’t a strong enough leader to handle the situation.

Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were all suspended for their roles in the incident when sandpaper was used to rough up the ball during the third Test in South Africa in March.

“The whispers were there,” Langer said of the team under former coach Darren Lehmann in a British Sky TV interview reported in Australian media Thursday. “Once upon a time, the opposition didn’t like us because we played really good, hard cricket — we were very skilful and we won a lot of games.”

Australian coach added, “It’s easy to dislike the opposition if they’re good, but there have been too many whispers in the last 12 months or so about the abuse on the field, or dare I say, the side playing like spoilt brats.”

Australia can earn back respect: Langer

He said that as a former player he “nearly died” when he heard about the scandal.

“So you’ve got to wonder why it gets to that point? But it has happened now and we have got to make sure we learn from it and get better from it because we can’t shy away either.”

The scandal was preceded by several other unseemly incidents in the South African series: a stairwell clash between Warner and Quinton de Kock, and Nathan Lyon dropping the ball on a prone AB de Villiers after he was run out.

Asked about the difference between the aggressive sides he once played in and Smith’s team, Langer pointed the finger at the captaincy.

“I think Steve Smith maybe just wasn’t strong enough in his leadership. But he loves the game of cricket, he practises harder than anyone I’ve ever met and he is a very, very nice young lad. There’s no doubt about that.”

Current skipper Tim Paine was also asked during the same television interview about how the Australia team found itself in such a dark place during the South African tour.

“I don’t think it goes back to any one individual, but not living by our behaviours over a sustained period of time, not one year, two years, but probably even longer than that,” he said. “It meant that something like Cape Town was probably going to happen, due to brushing over little things. But the little things can turn into big things when you take your eye off the ball.”

Lord’s inspires Australia’s World Cup ‘dream’

Warner, who like Smith is serving a one-year ban from state and international cricket, was blamed for developing the ball-tampering plot and instructing Bancroft to carry it out.

Langer said, he “has got that you used the word, mongrel bit of bite in him. The question I’d ask with David is how he got so angry?”

Langer took charge of his first game on Wednesday, with Australia losing the opening match of their one-day series in England by three wickets at The Oval.

Facebook Conversations

Leave Your Reply Below

Your comments may appear in The Express Tribune paper. For this reason we encourage you to provide your city. The Express Tribune does not bear any responsibility for user comments.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments FAQ.

More in Sports