Langer’s future still in limbo after eight-hour CA board meeting

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Cricket Australia confirms it will now enter into confidential discussions with Langer over his future

Justin Langer’s future as Australia’s men’s coach remains in the balance after an eight-hour Cricket Australia board meeting on Friday yielded no formal conclusion on his contract status.

At the end of the lengthy meeting which covered a number of agenda items, CA CEO Nick Hockley emerged to read a written statement to reporters telling them that CA will now enter confidential discussions with Langer.

“Cricket Australia can confirm that the CA board met today and part of that meeting involved significant discussions about men’s head coach Justin Langer’s contract,” Hockley said.

“We will now enter into confidential discussions with Justin and the outcome will be announced as soon as possible.”

Hockley declined to take any questions on the matter. Langer is currently in Melbourne but is due to fly home to Perth on Saturday and undertake 14 days of home quarantine. He will not coach Australia’s T20I side for the upcoming five-match series against Sri Lanka starting in Sydney on February 11 with the reins being handed to senior assistant Andrew McDonald.

Langer has been left to stew on his unresolved contract situation having not been able to fly home since the end of the men’s Ashes. He has had several meetings with Hockley and Australia’s head of national teams Ben Oliver since the Hobart Test.
But this was the first board meeting since that date. Speculation has been building after Australia’s two men’s captains, Test skipper Pat Cummins, and limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch baulked at endorsing the coach to continue beyond his current contract.
Despite the success of the team, claiming the T20 World Cup and the Ashes in four months, angst remains over Langer’s coaching style with last August’s crisis meetings about Langer’s intensity still fresh in the minds of the players who pleaded for change.

Langer has been left perplexed and frustrated by the process, adamant that he has made the necessary adjustments the players had asked for which has led to the recent success.

There was also no news who would be CA’s new permanent chairman following the resignation of Earl Eddings last year. A decision on the chairman was one of the other key agenda items at today’s board meeting that appears to have been swamped by Langer’s contract discussions.

One agenda item that was ticked off was Australia’s upcoming tour of Pakistan with the dates for the three-format tour locked in. The dates will overlap with the IPL leaving some players and coaches involved in Australia’s tour unavailable for at least the 10 days of the tournament.

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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