Former skipper Michael Clarke feels Justin Langer will step down as head coach if Australia add an Ashes victory to its recent T20 World Cup title.
Langer, who was appointed as Australia’s chief coach in the aftermath of the infamous 2018 ball-tampering scandal, helped deliver the country’s maiden T20 World Cup title on Sunday.
“He wanted Australia to be the best team in the world. He wanted us to play a brand of cricket that he’s proud of, and we’ve just won the World Cup,” Clarke was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.
“If we can win the Ashes as well, he’s achieved everything that he’s come here for and knowing Lang (Langer) he won’t coach for the wrong reasons,” he added.
The former Test opener’s job had been under the scanner since Australia’s disappointing loss to India in Tests earlier this year but he was backed by Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive officer Nick Hockley.
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There were also reports of a rift in the Australian dressing room between the players and Langer.
“I hope — not just for the players, but for him — that we can continue this form, win the Ashes series and then give him the option to do whatever he wants to do,” Clarke said.
“If he thinks his job is done, then I think he’ll walk away, and I’d love to see him walk away on his own terms,” he added.
The 50-year-old, who had guided Australia to an Ashes triumph in 2019 in the UK, is contracted until mid-2022.
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Clarke also lavished praise on T20 World Cup ‘Player of the Tournament’ David Warner, saying the opener will “no doubt” be confident of carrying his sensational form into the Ashes.
“He was brilliant throughout the tournament and had the courage to still play his natural game. Yeah, I’ve got no doubt that he would walk into these Test series now full of confidence,” he said.
“It’s amazing what runs do for a batter. It’s so important and the only way really to get your confidence back is to score runs.” Australia will take on arch-rival England in the Ashes, staring in Brisbane on December 8.