Pat Cummins has broken his silence about Justin Langer’s departure, labelling his former coach’s apology to Australia players as “unnecessary” and questioning whether his style was “sustainable”.
Australia’s Test captain has come under fire from former players for what they perceived as a lack of support for Langer before and after the coach’s resignation on Saturday.
But Cummins released a statement on Wednesday, in which he referred to Langer as a “legend” of cricket.
The fast bowler defended his decision not to speak out earlier, saying he would have put the team and Cricket Australia in an “impossible situation”.
“I believe in respecting the sanctity of the change room and proper process,” Cummins said.
“Now that a decision has been made by Justin to resign and given his own public comments by Cricket Australia, I can provide some clarity.
“Justin has acknowledged that his style was intense. And it was.
“He has apologised to players and staff for his intensity.
“I think the apology was unnecessary.
“Because the players were OK with JL’s intensity.
“It came from a good place – and his fierce love of Australia and the baggy green -something which has served Australian cricket well for three decades.
“It’s what makes him a legend of the sport.
“And Justin’s intensity drove a better team culture and higher team standards.
“These are significant Justin Langer legacies.
“And on behalf of the players, I thank Justin.
“More than that, we owe him a lot and Justin will be a welcome face in the change room in the future.
“His intensity was not the issue for players and the support staff.
“We have been very well schooled in how to play cricket in the right way – in the correct Australian way.
“And the players need no motivation as I’ve never played with more motivated cricketers.
“To be better players for Australia, from this solid foundation, we need a new style of coaching and skill set.
“This was the feedback the players gave to Cricket Australia.”
Cummins also labelled CA’s call to only offer Langer a short-term contract as “brave” given the team won the Twenty20 World Cup in November and followed it up with a 4-0 Ashes demolition of England.
Cummins praised Langer’s change of style over the past few months when speaking to reporters on Wednesday, but said there were question marks over how long that could continue.
“I think he tweaked quite a bit,” Cummins said. “He deserves a lot of credit for that.
“I think the question then became do we think that it’s sustainable. We thought it is the right time to make a change.”
The 28-year-old said former Australian greats such as Matthew Hayden and Mitchell Johnson were entitled to their opinion of the situation.
“Many former players have reached out to me and silently offered me their advice, which is welcome,” Cummins said.
“Some others have spoken in the media – which is also welcome and comes from a love of the game and their support of a mate.
“To all past players, I want to say this: Just as you have always stuck up for your mates, I’m sticking up for mine.”
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