WEST Australian cricket champion Justin Langer has been confirmed as the head coach of the Australian team, taking over from Darren Lehmann who resigned after the ball-tampering scandal.
The former Test opener was endorsed as Lehmann’s replacement by the Cricket Australia board on Wednesday night, after an impressive six-year stint as Western Australia coach.
Langer, who has previously worked as an assistant to the team, will take over all three formats of the game and has been signed on a four-year deal which will see Australia through to the World Cup and next home Ashes series.
“It is humbling to be appointed as coach of the Australian men’s cricket team,” Langer said in a statement.
“I am very excited about the scope I now have to coach the country that supported me so much in my cricketing career.
“There will be some significant challenges ahead for our group, but there is a wealth of talent in Australian cricket that I know will do us all proud.
“I’m thoroughly looking forward to working with all players, as we strive for a successful men’s team across all formats, with the support and respect of the Australian public”
Langer will take the reins for next month’s tour of England, and will be tasked with leading the Australian team through one of the most difficult years in recent times,without suspended stars Steve Smith, David Warner and opener Cameron Bancroft.
The 47-year-old Langer will also play a role in the cultural review stemming from the ill-fated South African tour, joining new captain Tim Paine and fast bowler Pat Cummins and other former players in assessing player and team behaviour.
A veteran of 105 Tests, Langer retired at the end of the 2006-07 Ashes series with 23 centuries and 7,696 runs to his name.
He has since turned around WA’s fortunes on and off the field, winning the Big Bash League three times as coach of the Perth Scorchers as well as claiming two one-day titles with the Warriors.
He was most recently Australian interim coach in a T20 series against Sri Lanka in 2017, after having been assistant between 2009 and 2012.
“Whilst Darren Lehmann was not due to complete his term until next year, we have had a succession plan in place for this role for some time,” Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said.
“The plan has allowed us to consider several worthy candidates, but Justin was the clear standout, particularly based on his recent coaching and player development achievements.
“We firmly believe Justin is the right person to lead this team and have huge confidence in what he will bring to the role.”