Players will be given a chance to share their thoughts on Justin Langer’s future as Cricket Australia prepares to make a huge call on the coach.
Australia have taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in this summer’s Ashes, extending a golden run that started with a Twenty20 World Cup win in the UAE.
But the future of Langer, who comes off contract in mid-2022 and has made it clear he is keen to continue, remains an unresolved talking point.
Langer came under pressure to keep his job in August because of player discontent, with Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive Nick Hockley backing the under-fire mentor amid crisis talks between on-field and off-field leaders.
Test skipper Pat Cummins played a straight bat to the issue after Australia’s urn-retaining MCG victory, saying it was the wrong time to speculate.
CA high-performance boss Ben Oliver noted his organisation doesn’t have a specific timeline regarding Langer, but reaffirmed the question won’t be looked at until this summer’s Ashes end.
And players are set to form part of CA’s decision-making process about Langer, and whether his all-important job should be split between two coaches.
“We always seek feedback from players and staff. We’re about trying to get better,” Oliver said.
“That goes for our coaching staff. It goes through our players and everyone.
“So we’ll do that as a matter of course after the series is completed.
“And the players’ feedback on a range of factors, including how we best support them, will be considered in that process.”
Langer has changed his approach in response to direct feedback from players, encouraging them to take ownership of the side while also embracing the help of assistant coaches.
Oliver, who worked alongside Langer at domestic level in Perth before replacing Pat Howard in 2019, said the former Test opener has “done a great job”.
“He’s really embraced the conversations that were had over the winter and he’s really evolved,” he said.
“The player leaders were able to provide some feedback that was really constructive.
“He’s got a greater group of staff around him. They’ve all done an incredible job creating the conditions for the team to perform as they have.”
Australia’s Test tour of Pakistan and a limited-overs trip to New Zealand are set to overlap next year, meaning there will effectively be two head coaches operating simultaneously.
Chairman of selectors George Bailey believes there is merit in looking at that model on a permanent basis.
Oliver was non-committal when asked, but highlighted the importance of creating “a team of staff that sit around the players”.
“That’s worked well for us to date,” he said.
“They’ve been the conversations we’ve had to date.
“The international cricket schedule is demanding.
“Certainly from a scheduling point of view, it’s not our desire to have concurrent tours.
“But the COVID pandemic has created lots of different challenges.”
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