CAPE TOWN – Cricket Australia finally took a big step forward following a tumultuous tour of South Africa by appointing Justin Langer as their new head coach.
The Australian governing body made the announcement late on Wednesday night SA time and early Thursday morning Down Under.
The 47-year-old Langer has long been touted as the favourite to replace Darren Lehmann, who stepped down from the role at the end of the South African tour despite being cleared of any wrongdoing in the ‘SandpaperGate’ ball-tampering scandal.
And while there were rumours that former captain Ricky Ponting could coach one of the limited-overs teams, Langer will be in charge in all three formats.
He will start on May 22 in a four-year deal, which will included two Ashes Series, a World Cup and World T20 tournament.
Langer played in 105 Test matches and eight ODIs.
“It is humbling to be appointed as coach of the Australian men’s cricket team.
“I would like to thank the Western Australian Cricket Association and the Perth Scorchers for their support over the past six seasons, and for giving me the opportunity to lead and work with two great teams and many exceptional people,” Langer said in a statement.
“I’d like to especially thank my family for being with me on this journey, and for supporting me in accepting this position.
“I am very excited about the scope I now have to coach the country that supported me so much in my cricketing career.
“There will be some significant challenges ahead for our group, but there is a wealth of talent in Australian cricket that I know will do us all proud.
“I’m thoroughly looking forward to working with all players, as we strive for a successful men’s team across all formats, with the support and respect of the Australian public.”
But the immediate task for the former left-handed batsman will be to participate in the Rick McCosker player review panel following the fall-out from the SA tour, which saw ex-captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and opener Cameron Bancroft banned for varying periods for their role in the ball-tampering scandal at Newlands.