It is an old but certain truth that you are rarely a prophet in your own country.
After outstanding success as a player and as a coach, Justin Langer was unceremoniously dumped from the Australian cricket coaching job; yet, under his tenure, Australia retained the Ashes in England, for the first time since 2001, claimed the nation’s first T20 World Cup title and thrashed England 4-0, in Australia, this summer.
There is now talk that the Hobart Hurricanes are interested in Justin Langer as their coach; this, at a time, when the Big Bash is struggling.
Again, Langer can be said to be synonymous with success in the short game.
As coach of the Perth Scorchers, he won the BBL title three times; but the interesting point being made about the Hobart Hurricanes is, to quote one media report, “Langer’s passion, profile and pedigree would help the league in its bid to revitalise the BBL.”
Perhaps you are only appreciated after you are gone.
Hobart needs Langer.
They have never finished higher than semi-finalists in the 11 years the Big Bash has been running.
Of even greater interest is that Langer is now being seriously considered as the next coach of England where they will reportedly split coaching responsibilities between a full-time Test coach and a full-time limited overs coach.
England will lock in a new Director of Cricket in the next two weeks and then turn their attention to the vacant coaching position.
That is not to say that England is the only coaching outfit seeking Langer’s services.
One interesting aside to all of this is that Andrew Strauss, a former Captain of England, and now knighted in 2019, Sir Andrew Strauss, has been the most recent Director of Cricket in England.
Which prompts the question, why couldn’t the great Ricky Ponting be in charge of cricket in Australia instead of the unknown blazer brigade?
But Justin Langer as Coach of the Hobart Hurricanes and the England Test side would be a stunning success, bringing discipline and decency along with achievement.
Remember the famous Langer quotation, “I want character ahead of cover drives”.
Should Langer then take the former Australian Captain, Tim Paine, with him, in both jobs, there is little doubt the fortunes of both the Hobart Hurricanes and the England Test side would enjoy dramatic change.
Cricket needs more Justin Langers.
Hopefully those running England and the Hobart Big Bash get his signature on the line, sooner rather than later; and Tim Paine to follow.