Melbourne, May 19:
Ending speculation about being a possible candidate to become the Indian cricket team’s chief coach, former Australia batsman Justin Langer on Tuesday signed a two-year contract extension with Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA).
Langer, who was touted as a possible candidate for the vacant England and India coaching jobs, said he was flattered to have been associated with such high profile roles.
But the former opening batsman, who played 105 Tests, said that his commitment to his family came ahead of the demands of travelling with an international team.
“I am flattered to be associated with potential international coaching opportunities, but the timing isn’t right for my family and I still feel there is much work to be done here in Western Australian and Australian cricket,” Langer told cricket.com.au.
“Having spent nearly 20 years on the road with the Australian team as a player and then coach, I respect what an enormous commitment it is to be away from your family for almost 12 months of the year.
“There is no doubt I have aspirations to coach internationally, but that will depend upon timing and opportunity in the future. I look forward to continuing my work at the WACA and I am excited by this challenge.”
Current Australia chief coach Darren Lehmann earlier conceded that the demands on family — Langer and his wife Sue have four daughters — was the principal reason why any coach’s tenure at the international level is limited. It then led him to unofficially endorse Langer as his likely successor when he vacates the Australia role.
Since taking over as men’s coach of the Western Australia cricket team, which had endured its share of turbulence in previous years, Langer has guided his charges to back-to-back Big Bash League (BBL) titles. They also got their first domestic 50-over trophy in a decade and appeared in the past two Sheffield Shield finals.
Just as significant has been the development of home grown talent under Langer’s leadership, with players such as reigning domestic player of the year Jason Behrendorff as well as Australia A representatives Sam Whiteman and Cameron Bancroft pushing their international claims.
In addition, spinner Ashton Agar, seamer Nathan Coulter-Nile and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh have all won Australian selection. Veteran batsman Adam Voges has produced such outstanding form that he has been included in the upcoming Test tours of the West Indies and the Ashes. (IANS)