Melbourne : Australian Test and One-day International (ODI) skipper Pat Cummins has reportedly met former great Adam Gilchrist to clear any misgivings and heal the rift between current and former players following the departure of long-serving head coach Justin Langer.
Langer, who was coach of the Australian side from 2018 till the time the home team won the Ashes 4-0 in early 2022, reportedly did not enjoy a great rapport with senior players resulting in things reaching a crisis stage on a couple of occasions.
Cricket Australia then offered the former opening batter a six-month contract extension till the T20 World Cup, which he rejected and decided to step down ahead of the crucial away Test series against Pakistan.
A report in ‘The Age’ said on Saturday that, “Current players and support staff believe there is an ‘agenda’ behind the pile-on. They believe Langer’s former teammates are using their media profiles to continue the feud that erupted at the end of the Ashes (between senior players and Langer) in January.”
It is in this backdrop that ‘The Age’ reported that Cummins had met Langer’s former team-mate Adam Gilchrist in the first act of a “diplomatic campaign to ease the tension between past and current players stemming from the messy departure of former coach Justin Langer”.
The report said that neither Cummins nor Gilchrist commented on the meeting in Adelaide during the lead-up to Australia’s opening ODI against England, and added that multiple meetings between the Test skipper and former greats “to heal the divide” are in the pipeline.
Australia’s dismal performance in the T20 World Cup at home has given former greats a reason to criticise Aaron Finch’s side and blame the debacle on Justin Langer being eased out.Former great and Fox Sports commentator Mark Waugh said in his column for The Daily Telegraph that, “Justin Langer may be gone, but his shadow still hangs over Australian cricket.”
He added that there was a perceptible disconnect between the team and its fans since the players forced Langer out.”The perception from the outside among ex-cricketers is the line is a bit blurred at the moment and there are questions about whether (current coach Andrew) McDonald is too friendly and matey with all the players and is not going to make the hard decisions.”