Number one in professionalism, honesty and humility - Langer lays down Australia targets

Australian cricket took a hammering in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal and new coach Justin Langer wants to rebuild that reputation.

Published : May 26, 2018 16:42 IST

"If you're not a good bloke, that's what people remember." Those are the words of Justin Langer as he attempts to repair Australian cricket's tarnished reputation.

Langer, who played 105 Tests for his country, was appointed head coach earlier this month following the resignation of Darren Lehmann in the wake of the Newlands ball-tampering fiasco.

That incident, which led to the suspensions of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, rocked world cricket and saw the Australia team's behaviour thrust under the microscope.

As he prepares for his first assignment in the role - five ODIs and one Twenty20 against old foes England - Langer was firm in expressing that anything other than exemplary conduct would not be settled for.

"We've got to aim to be number one in professionalism in the world, we've got to be number one in honesty, that's a really important value, and we've got to be number one in humility," he told a news conference.

"It doesn't matter how much money you've got, or how many games or how many runs, if you're not a good bloke, that's what people remember.

"So humility is important. Our mateship is really important, sticking together. So they'd be the main values at this stage.

"When I had the first selection meeting the other day and I saw you take those three names out [Smith, Warner, Bancroft], it's a bit of a shock to the system, and it's not even a cliche, but it's a very good opportunity for some blokes. It'll be great for us in the future to make sure our depth is strong."

Langer conceded he and his players would have to prepare for an even more hostile reception when they reach England, given the events of the past few months.

"[We're] expecting to cop plenty from the crowds and the media, but that's England," he said. "Even if you're winning all the time and you're squeaky clean you still cop it, so I'd say we'll cop it just as much as usual, but that's ok.

"It won't take one tour or one year. It will take one behaviour, one thousand behaviours, one million behaviours to win back respect. If we behave well on and off the field, we will earn some trust and respect back. The Australian public loves the Australian cricket team but there is more to it than just being good cricketers."

Langer, who enjoyed success as coach of Western Australia and T20 franchise Perth Scorchers, joked that the additional commitments attached to his new role had left him yearning for a return to his former position.

"I got here [to the National Cricket Centre] about 7am on Tuesday, had my first selection meeting, got home about 8pm, sat on my chair and I texted Christina Matthews my old boss and said 'am I too late to get my old job back?'" he said.

"It seemed like a good job, I had my feet under the table, I knew the lay of the land, it was pretty cruisey, but this has certainly been a big eye opener, which I'm really looking forward to."

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