Mitchell Johnson blames Pat Cummins for Justin Langer's exit
Former Australian seamer Mitchell Johnson, on Sunday, slammed Pat Cummins for his refusal to back Justin Langer as head coach. Johnson went on to say that the Australian Test skipper had failed his very first test as captain. Johnson also opined that Cummins holds "a lot of power" in the Australian cricket corridor, and he must have been central to what has happened.
- Langer on Saturday resigned from his post as Australia coach effective immediately.
- Langer's contract was set to expire in June 2022.
- He was offered a short-term extension, which he declined.
- Langer's departure has exposed a split between the current and former players.
- While the present players have been silent about Langer's exit, several former Australian cricketers have come to the defense of the 51-year-old.
Johnson has slammed Cummins for not speaking up for Langer. Johnson even went on to say that Cummins failed his first test as Aussie skipper by being coy over Langer's future. "Pat Cummins has been lauded as some type of cricketing saint since his elevation to the top job this summer," the 40-year-old wrote in a column for The West Australian newspaper.
"Cummins might have delivered with the ball during the Ashes series, but he has failed his first big test as captain pretty miserably," Johnson further said. "He had plenty of public opportunities to endorse an extension for Langer. So when he let it through to the keeper every time, it became pretty obvious he didn't want it to happen," he added.
Cummins had refused to endorse Langer for the Australia coach job earlier this week. "It's in Cricket Australia's hands. JL's been doing a fantastic job, he's been there for four years, his contract is obviously up soon, they're just going through an evaluation process at the moment, which I think is fair, the right thing to do," Cummins told Sydney Morning Herald.
Langer's departure was confirmed on Saturday morning after a lengthy CA board meeting regarding the same ended without a resolution. "DSEG confirms that our client Justin Langer has this morning tendered his resignation as coach of the Australian men's cricket team. The resignation follows a meeting with Cricket Australia last evening," the company said. Langer's contract was set to expire in June 2022.
Ponting slammed CA for Langer's resignation. "It's a really sad day for Australian cricket," Ponting told ABC Radio as quoted by ESPNcricinfo. "I think of the way that CA as a whole has handled some of the better people in Australian cricket—Langer and Tim Paine—I think it's been almost embarrassing with the way they've handled those two cases," he added.
Langer was appointed Australia coach in 2018 following the Sandpaper Gate saga. He replaced Darren Lehmann—who had stepped down after the scandal. He guided Australia to their first-ever T20 World Cup title in 2021. Australia won The Ashes 2021-22 series 4-0 at home. They drew The Ashes series 2-2 in England in 2019. They also reached the semi-final of the 2021 50-over World Cup.