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‘Langer PR machine’s been at work’ – Ian Chappell questions attacks on ‘honest’ Cummins after coach’s departure

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Ian Chappell has rallied behind Pat Cummins after he was targetted by several former Australia players following head coach Justin Langer’s resignation last week.

Langer stepped down as the coach of Australia after his desire to get a long-term contract extension was shot down by Cricket Australia, who instead offered him the role for another six months. The former cricketer recently led Australia to the T20 World Cup triumph in the UAE and the team to a 4-0 series win in the Ashes.

The aftermath of Langer’s sudden resignation led to criticism from some quarters, with Mitchell Johnson even calling Cummins “gutless” for his silence on the recent incidents. Chappell, however, believed that it was nothing but “the Justin Langer PR machine” that had been at work, with most of the support for him coming from Western Australia or from cricketers he used to play with.

Talking exclusively to Wide World of Sports, Chappell said, “It’s easy to lambast Cricket Australia, because they are not very good, and it was only to be expected, their reaction.

“But what annoys me is two things – the fact Pat Cummins, who has probably been as honest as you can be in this sort of thing, that he’s copped a bit of a pasting… and the Justin Langer PR machine has been at work, and in a lot of cases that’s been believed.

“They [former players] are going to do what they’re going to do, that is entirely up to them.”

He also went on to defend Cummins, by saying that the captain has a say in having a coach “he gets on with”.

“To me, the important thing is Cricket Australia have got to ask two questions when they appoint a new captain… firstly say to him ‘do you want a coach?’, and in every case nowadays people will say yeah they want a coach. In that case ask ‘OK, who do you want?'” Chappell said.

“And within reason, I think the captain has got to get the coach that he gets on with and works well with. I just don’t understand why a captain isn’t going to have any input into the coach. Why, for instance, do you appoint a new captain and then he’s got to have the previous coach? He doesn’t get any say in it, well that’s bollocks in my opinion.

“Pat Cummins will know a lot more about cricket than the [administrators] at Cricket Australia on the board. Pat Cummins would know more about cricket than most.”

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