‘Pathetic,’ and ‘absolute disgrace’, ‘painted like a monster’: Warne, Gilly rip into CA over Langer exit

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Shane Warne has called Cricket Australia’s handling of Justin Langer’s exit “pathetic” and also questioned their actions after the Cape Town sandpaper scandal while Adam Gilchrist has suggested the fallen coach has been “painted like a monster.”

Meanwhile, Langer has addressed CA staffers via video link with a message understood to be similar to his resignation statement leaked to the media.

Warne told Fox Cricket’s Follow-On podcast: “To treat the head coach the way they have, it’s an absolute disgrace what they’ve done.

“All of us who have played with Justin, we are not coming out because he’s our friend or a great cricketer or a Hall of Famer. We are coming out because it’s the treatment of the coach.

“Forget it’s Justin Langer. It’s just the treatment of Cricket Australia and the way they have handled the coach of the Australian cricket team. It’s been pathetic.”

Langer’s former teammates have been rallying behind Langer in the days leading up to and since his resignation on Saturday, blaming CA and captain Pat Cummins for failing to adequately back their mate.

The orgy of self righteousness from retired players has not been missed by current players who feel the older generation believe the baggy green meant more to them than this crop.

Warne – who angered the current players with his relentless bagging of their teammate Mitchell Starc, couldn’t resist another dig at this generation on his podcast appearance.

“It’s not a great Australian cricket team we are talking about here,” said Warne. “But all that Justin Langer put in over three or four years, we are just starting to see the rewards for his hard work. His brutalness, his intensity and his kick up the backside to the players. You know why? They needed it!

“If they can start doing this for another five or six years. Not to lose at home, beat India away and beat England away. Then we might start talking about this great Australian cricket team. But they aren’t at the moment.

Justin Langer, coach of Australia, speaks with former Australian Cricketer Shane Warne during day four of the Fourth Test match in the series between Australia and India at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 06, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

“If they didn’t like his style and he had lost the dressing room, well, they better start performing. They have to perform.”

The Warne comments follow some from Michael Clarke, who earlier called on Cummins to come out and speak plainly about recent comments. The hypocrisy of Clarke, who has ducked conversations about his time as captain and team relationships for years will no doubt be galling for the current team as well.

Warnne also questioned if CA had more explaining to do over the events in Cape Town that led to Langer’s appointment.

“We still don’t know the truth about what actually happened at Sandpaper gate,” said Warne.

“Does Cricket Australia know the truth? Do they? Do the same people know the truth about Sandpaper gate? Are they hiding anything?

“We’ve seen that the bowling cartel, as they call themselves, or ‘Winx’ and ‘GOAT’ and all these unbelievable nicknames they have for themselves. These guys wrote a letter saying they had no knowledge of whatever went on.

“That might be correct. But if it’s not and they’ve done that, there are all sorts of whispers or rumours that we all have heard. And one day the truth will come out.

“Does Cricket Australia know the truth? Is it the truth that we’ve heard? Why should Smith and Warner be the only two? Who knows. But the truth will come out.

“If Cricket Australia are hiding something again after Justin Langer, Tim Paine, we could go on about all the controversies that Cricket Australia has just bungled, messed up and handled completely wrong.

“They knew about Tim Paine and still allowed him to captain Australia and swept it under the carpet. When someone found out they just threw him under the bus. What is this organisation doing?”

Another of Langer’s close mates, Adam Gilchrist, also stepped up his attacks on SEN Radio on Monday, first addressing reports that the players had had enough of Langer’s style.

“I don’t care to listen to any more of the corporate speak about transition and analysis of the coaching position and all that needs analysis and requirements and evolution – that’s just covering up that the players and certain support staff around that team have spoken and they no longer want Justin there,” Gilchrist said.

“I’m not inside that camp so I can’t question whether they are well-intentioned or not, I’m sure they are well-intentioned from the way they see it.

“But this (CA) board, I just can’t believe that someone on that board didn’t stand up in the meeting, and they may well have done it, and said, ‘Hang on, how are the optics going to look on this first and foremost, what’s the public going to think after what we asked Justin to do, and really, do we think we should be placing that decision making back to the group that we found ourselves in the very same situation four years ago?

“As I said, it may well have happened, but whatever the case, the CEO was told to go out there (on Saturday) and front up to the public and carry on with the wording and the continued references to those big keywords that was corporate speak, that’s what I found really frustrating and really challenging.”

Gilchrist was one of the first to sense what was coming when reports emerged of the coach and manager Gavin Dovey publicly verbally attacking a co-worker during the series loss to Bangladesh last year

“He’s been painted by some particular people as a monster, that is not Justin Langer,” Gilchrist said.

“He’ll be the first to admit he has his frailties, he has his areas of weakness, but gee, he’ll sit and look you in the eye and work it out with you.

“So, to be painted as a monster, what sort of effect would that have on you personally and what’s the flow-on effect to your family and the people that are nearest and dearest to you, particularly through a period of time when you’re not nearly understanding what is going on, the consistent innuendo and rumour.

“I think he stated it perfectly in his resignation letter, honesty, respect, trust, truth performance.

“And then unfortunately, he felt a compelling need to say if that’s been the trouble I apologise, they’re the foundations he bases his life on.

“I totally agree with him, (but) I unfortunately disagree with him that he felt a need to apologise because that shouldn’t be a situation.”

Earlier on Monday Langer addressed CA staff, according to a report in The Age.

“A pained Justin Langer spoke by video conference to Cricket Australia’s staff to talk through his resignation and defend his reputation on Monday, as his former teammates continued to publicly attack the game’s current governors and players,” the paper wrote.

“In a regular all-staff meeting, Langer joined the CA chief executive Nick Hockley to deliver what was essentially a similar message to his resignation email. During his tenure as coach, Langer was a consistent presence on staff video calls.”

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