The Western Australia Head Coach & former Aussie Opener Justin Langer will coach Australia for its three KFC Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) against Sri Lanka in February 2017. This was confirmed in a Cricket Australia press release sent earlier today.
This was agreed upon in a meeting of CA’s Board of Directors in Melbourne on Thursday, the press release claimed.
Justin Langer was one of the well known Australian opener, who along with Matthew Hayden, has given some of the famous wins to Australia during Steve Waugh captaincy. Langer has twice coached the Perth Scorchers to Big Bash League title in 2014 and 2015. He’ll step in for another ex-national Darren Lehmann, who will be with the Test squad on the Tour of India as it prepares for the opening match of a four-match series.
Previous to this, Langer has worked with the national side in June, as the interim Head Coach when Darren Lehmann took a break, piloting the line-up to success in a tri-series tournament against the West Indies and South Africa. (See other Cricket news here)
Speaking about the appointment, Cricket Australia Executive GM– Team Performance, Pat Howard said, “We are delighted that Justin has agreed to undertake the role of acting Head Coach for the Twenty20 International series against Sri Lanka. We would also like to thank WACA for their support in releasing Justin.”
Speaking further about his previous association with the national side, he added, “He did a terrific job in the Caribbean in June when he stepped in for Darren Lehmann during the successful tri-series and so is already familiar with the working environment around the Australia team.”
Concluding with the experience the Former Aussie Opener brings into the job, he said, “He brings a wealth of experience as both a player and a coach and his record in helping the Perth Scorchers to a sustained level of success in the KFC Big Bash League means he fits the bill in all ways.”
Speaking about the stint with the national side, Justin Langer said, “I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working with the national side in the Caribbean earlier this year and so I am excited and very grateful to get this opportunity to do it again, this time with the Twenty20 International squad against Sri Lanka.”
Speaking about the Australian performance in the T20I, Langer added, “Twenty20 International cricket is the one format in which Australia is yet to win a global tournament so every chance we get to play it and develop our skills is very significant. That means these three matches will be hugely important.”
Adding the impact of the Big Bash League & the simultaneous India tour on the T20I, he said, “The advantage myself and the players will have is that the series will come just over two weeks after the KFC Big Bash League wraps up so we should all still be in Twenty20 mode. And with several senior players set to be in India ahead of the Test series, it really will give players an added incentive to perform in the upcoming KFC BBL to put their names forward for selection in the Sri Lanka series.”
In the end, he thanked the administrators for selecting him for the job and said, “Thanks to the officials at the Western Australia Cricket Association for giving me the chance to take on this challenge and thanks, too, to Cricket Australia for having faith in me to do it.”
Langer will work with the national side for the T20Is at Melbourne (February 17), Geelong (February 19) and Adelaide (February 22).