Usman Khawaja has urged his Australian captains Pat Cummins and Aaron Finch to “stand up” and speak about the Justin Langer mess.
Cummins in particular has come under fire from cricket legends for failing to publicly endorse Langer in the lead-up to his resignation as Australian men’s coach on Friday.
Retired fast bowler Mitchell Johnson took both barrels to Test captain Cummins in a newspaper, calling him “gutless” for allegedly “white anting” the coach.
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“There’s obviously a lot of ex-players coming (out) and talking about the playing group,” Khawaja told media today.
“I think at some stage one of the captains, Finchy or Patty, will have to stand up and answer some questions, just to get rid of all the speculation that’s going around and put an end to it, I guess.”
Aside from Alex Carey briefly answering a question on Monday, Khawaja is the first current player to publicly speak about Langer’s exit.
The noise coming from Langer’s former teammates has been deafening, with a group of them lining up to slam Cummins and Cricket Australia since the news of the coach’s demise broke on Saturday.
The relationship between Khawaja and Langer was portrayed as somewhat strained during the fly-on-the-wall documentary series The Test, filmed during 2019.
But the veteran batter is actually tight with his former coach.
“I feel for the man himself because I’ve got along with Justin for a long time,” Khawaja said.
“I love him as a bloke, he’s a legend, and on a personal level whether I get dropped or whether he’s not the Australian coach, we both have that relationship.”
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Australia’s chief selector George Bailey told media this afternoon he does not expect to be involved in the process to pick Langer’s successor.
Bailey reached out to Langer in the wake of his resignation. He is not in the camp that blames Cummins, or any current player, for the coach’s fate.
“I left a voice message and sent a couple of texts to JL, and got a quick response back,” Bailey said.
“I feel for him. Absolutely no one deserves to have the saga that it has been play out this publicly.
“It hasn’t been ideal, but I don’t subscribe to the fact that there were individuals who were key to making the decision.”
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