Test skipper Pat Cummins has strongly quashed any suggestions from former coach Justin Langer that “cowards” leaked information to undermine him during his time in charge as the build up to the first game against the West Indies continues to focus on anything but cricket.
In a podcast interview released last week, Langer claimed that cowards had leaked things against him which was initially interpreted as players trying to undermine him.
The former coach clarified that he was not talking about the players – something which Cummins appreciated – although the Aussie captain was clearly disappointed about the comments given everything his side has achieved recently.
It will be interesting to see how Langer and the players get on now that he’s accepted a role with Channel Seven’s commentary team.
“There are no cowards in the Australian cricket team, not ever,” Cummins said.
“I thank Justin for, I guess, clarifying his remarks afterwards.
“I think he had a think about it and clarified it, so I thank him for that.
“But we’re really proud of the last 12 months, how we’ve fronted up, the way we’ve played, the way we’ve conducted ourselves.
“Players can certainly hold their heads high.”
Speaking ahead of the first Test in Perth starting on Wednesday, Cummins was also asked if he was hurt by Langer’s willingness to spill the beans on private conversations in such a public forum.
“I’d probably never disclose private conversations, but you’d have to ask Justin,” Cummins said.
“There‘s no ill will to what he was trying to do and he clarified afterwards.
“I feel like there are so many good things going on at the moment, especially this Test team (being) number one in the world.
“It’s disappointing sometimes the focus gets drawn to off-field issues but it hasn’t really affected our team.”
The frostiness between current and former players has been a lingering issue ever since Langer walked away from the job, although both parties seem willing to work things out.
It’s an unwanted distraction for the world number one ranked Test nation who play the West Indies in Perth and Adelaide, before a three-match series against South Africa.
The series opener will be Cameron Green’s first Test in his home city, with Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon joining Cummins in the attack.
“You probably could have picked it 12 months ago,” the skipper said.
“Everyone has done well to get them fit and firing for this series and we’re in a really good place. Easy decision.”
Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner
West Indies squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Shamarh Brooks, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Anderson Phillip, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Devon Thomas