Melbourne, May 3 (IANS) Justin Langer was unveiled as the new head of coach of the Australian cricket team at a press conference here on Thursday.
Langer takes charge after Darren Lehmann resigned following a ball-tampering scandal in March which rocked the world of cricket, reports EFE news agency.
Former captain Steve Smith, vice captain David Warner were banned for one year, while player Cameron Barcroft was handed a nine-month suspension, for their roles in the incident.
“Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith love the game more than anyone I know. They are cricket tragics and they’re great kids. That’s why it was such a surprise they made the mistake they did. They’ve made a mistake. We’ve all made mistakes, we can all get better at things. Davey Warner is the same, he’s a really good young bloke”, Langer said.
An investigation by Cricket Australia confirmed that, under instruction from deputy captain Warner, Bancroft used sandpaper to damage the ball during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town in March. South Africa went on to win the match by 322 runs.
Warner and Smith have also been barred from captaining the team for two years.
The scandal has reached well beyond the world of sport, with Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saying the affair had “bitterly disappointed the whole nation”.
Langer has been appointed on a four-year term, with June’s One Day International and Twenty20 International matches against England in June his first competitive engagements.
Langer is a former opening batsman for the Australian national team, and his partnership with Matthew Hayden during the 2000’s was considered one of the game’s most successful.
He retired from playing at the end of the 2009 English season.