Justin Langer has revealed the extent of the stress that took a toll on his family during his initial days as Australia cricket team coach. (Image credit: Getty Images)
Justin Langer had taken over as the coach of the Australian cricket team at a very tough time. The team's reputation was in tatters after the ball-tampering scandal in the Newlands Test against South Africa which resulted in one-year bans for Steve Smith and David Warner as well as a nine-month ban for Cameron Bancroft. The team struggled initially as they lost a Test and ODI series to India at home for the first time in history while they won just three ODIs throughout 2018. However, slowly, Langer was part of the turnaround that saw Australia win a Twenty20 International series in India for the first time and also an ODI series after 10 years. Australia whitewashed Pakistan 5-0 and they reached the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 where they were blown away by England, who went on to win the World Cup for the first time.
Australia is now gearing up for the Ashes and the team will be determined to win a series in England for the first time since 2001. However, Langer, in a chat with ESPNCricinfo, has revealed how his initial days of him being appointed the coach of the Australian cricket team turned out to be stressful for him and his family. The former Australia opener talked about an incident during the fourth Test against India in Sydney involving his wife Sue.
"I've known my wife since I was 14 years old, so she knows everything about me, and they were leaving. They were leaving that day, and we were at breakfast at 8 o'clock and my wife started crying at the breakfast table in front of my daughters. I said what's going on, I had never seen my wife cry - we know everything about each other. She said 'I just don't like what's happening here, I don't like what it's doing to you, I don't like what it's doing to us, people are so mean, what people are saying about you and the team and Australian cricket'. That was a real eye-opener for me, that it was affecting my family," Langer said.
Also Read | Langer saw 'a bit of Aussie humour' in Paine-Kohli's heated exchanges
Langer said that when he had encountered tough times, there was also a pivotal moment which turned his life around completely. "I've said privately and publicly a few times if I look back to my career, 1993 when I got dropped for the first time, really tough time, but pivotal in my life. "I got dropped in 2001, a really, really tough time, but pivotal in my life. I look to January 2019 in Sydney, really tough time, but I've got no doubt it'll be a massive part of my evolution as a coach," Langer said.
Also Read | Justin Langer terms India’s aggression ‘brilliant’, calls Virat Kohli-Tim Paine confrontation ‘hilarious’
In the past, Langer was also involved in an argument with a journalist when he queried about Glenn Maxwell's Test future. However, with Australia now welcoming back Smith, Warner and Bancroft, they would be aiming to break their 18-year jinx in England as they look to retain the Ashes against a side who are high on confidence after the World Cup win.