Former Australian men’s coach Justin Langer will join Channel 7’s commentary team for the upcoming home summer of cricket.
The 51-year-old stood down as national coach in February after Cricket Australia offered the former Test batter a pitiful six-month contract extension.
Langer’s contract was slated to expire in June, but the writing was on the wall following a breakdown in his relationship with senior players, who had become worn down by his overbearing style and intense attitude.
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Following his resignation, there was speculation on whether Langer would take up a coaching role in England or with the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League.
But on Friday evening, The Age revealed that Langer would partner with former Australian teammates Ricky Ponting, Simon Katich and Damien Fleming in the Channel 7 commentary box.
Speaking to reporters last week, Ponting confirmed that he had approached Langer about a coaching role with the Hurricanes, but rejected the offer.
“I’m on record saying that I’ve spoken with Justin quite a bit about coming down here and being the head coach of the Hurricanes and he was quite keen,” he said.
“The initial conversations were pretty exciting. And he would like to get back involved again. But as things progressed and things got a little bit closer, I think he’s had some other opportunities and exciting things maybe come across his desk that he thinks he might be able to enjoy a little bit more through the course of the summer.
“I’m sure you’ll find out about some of those things over the next little period of time.
“I think everyone, probably around Australian cricket circles knew that I was trying to get him down here for the Hurricanes, but it wasn’t to be.”
Langer replaced former Test batter Darren Lehmann as national coach in 2018 following the infamous Cape Town ball-tampering saga, leading Australia to a maiden T20 World Cup title and 4-0 Ashes triumph last summer.
Speaking with West Australian Governor Kim Beazley last month, Langer claimed he would “never, ever apologise” for the serious approach to cricket that caused tension within the Australian changeroom.
“It’s really ironic, well not ironic, but it’s the way of the world I guess,” he said.
“On finishing with the Australian team, there was talk that I was too serious or too intense for the younger players. But that’s what I learned.
“I just wonder now whether it’s time for a new chapter and doing something else because I love the game of cricket but I’ve been doing it (for a long time).
“I’m really excited for the future. I’ve got some scars from the last 12 months but I’ll work through those. That’s life. In my darkest hours, I’ve learned my greatest lessons.”
Last month, The Daily Telegraph reported that broadcaster Channel 7 had launched Federal Court action against CA in a bid to terminate its TV rights deal.
According to the News Corp report, Seven is adamant the cricketers that featured in last summer’s BBL were not of a high enough quality for the competition to meet the standard provisions stipulated in CA’s TV rights contract.
Originally published as Justin Langer joins Channel 7 commentary team
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