Usman Khawaja says only captain Pat Cummins can end rumours after Justin Langer's resignation

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Usman Khawaja urges Pat Cummins to end rumours of a player revolt ousting successful coach Justin Langer

  • Khawaja believes only captain Pat Cummins can clear air over Justin Langer exit
  • Said he was saddened for Langer ‘the person’ following his decision to quit
  • Some former stars have criticised Cummins’ for lack of public support for Langer
  • But Khawaja didn’t want to speculate on how much say Cummins had in demise


Test batsman Usman Khawaja believes only captain Pat Cummins clearing the air over his role in Justin Langer’s exit as Australia’s coach will end speculation over a player revolt.

Khawaja said he was saddened for Justin Langer ‘the person’ following his decision last Saturday to walk away from the role despite having led Australia to the T20 World Cup and a comprehensive Ashes success in the past three months.

Langer ended his four-year tenure as national coach after rejecting an offer from Cricket Australia of a six-month extension with no scope for a future deal.

Khawaja (pictured with wife Rachel) said he was saddened for Justin Langer 'the person' following his decision last Saturday to walk away from the role despite having led Australia to the T20 World Cup and a comprehensive Ashes success in the past three months

Khawaja (pictured with wife Rachel) said he was saddened for Justin Langer ‘the person’ following his decision last Saturday to walk away from the role despite having led Australia to the T20 World Cup and a comprehensive Ashes success in the past three months

Khawaja said he was unaware of the exact details behind the situation, having only just returned to the team ahead of the third Test in Sydney.

Several notable former stars such as Mitchell Johnson and Matt Hayden have criticised Cummins’ for a lack of public support for Langer.

But Khawaja didn’t want to speculate on just how much say Cummins and limited-overs captain Aaron Finch had in the coach’s demise.

‘I just came back in the team two months ago. I’ve been a little bit out of it, a little bit disconnected, but there’s obviously a lot of ex-players coming and talking about the playing group,’ Khawaja said.

‘At some stage one of the captains, probably Finchy or Patty, will probably have to stand up and answer some questions just to get rid of all the speculation that’s going around.

‘To just put an end to it all.’

Khawaja confirmed he had reached out to Langer following his resignation, and lauded how the West Australian had restored a level of humility to the national team.

Several notable former stars such as Mitchell Johnson and Matt Hayden have criticised Cummins (pictured with Becky Boston) for a lack of public support for Langer

Several notable former stars such as Mitchell Johnson and Matt Hayden have criticised Cummins (pictured with Becky Boston) for a lack of public support for Langer

He also insisted his own relationship with the 51-year-old was good despite speculation of a rift following his national team axing during the 2019 Ashes – with a subsequent documentary of the tour showing the Queensland batter giving the coach forthright feedback.

‘JL is one guy if you give him feedback, he normally pushes back to start but always takes it in at some stage,’ Khawaja said.

‘He was always trying to improve as a coach, as a person, and trying to do his best.

‘I could see, definitely, improvements in places where he probably was a bit weaker with his coaching and it’s like all of us, we’re all trying to improve trying to get better and I could definitely see that the effort being put in.

‘I still always got along with him.’

Langer (pictured) ended his four-year tenure as national coach after rejecting an offer from Cricket Australia of a six-month extension with no scope for a future deal

Langer (pictured) ended his four-year tenure as national coach after rejecting an offer from Cricket Australia of a six-month extension with no scope for a future deal

Langer’s former Test teammate Jason Gillespie has also reached out in recent days and said the messy exit was ‘heartbreaking’.

The South Australian coach, who had been touted as a potential replacement for Langer, was quick to rule himself out of a contention for the role.

‘I am not putting myself up for any job,’ Gillespie told reporters on Tuesday.

‘It’s nice to be thought of in that way but it’s certainly something I am not even thinking about entertaining.’

The former Test quick said it was clear the process which led to Langer’s exit didn’t look good externally.

‘Justin has handled himself very well … but I think everyone is of the opinion that things probably could have been handled better,’ Gillespie said.

Langer's former Test teammate Jason Gillespie (pictured) has also reached out in recent days and said the messy exit was 'heartbreaking'

Langer’s former Test teammate Jason Gillespie (pictured) has also reached out in recent days and said the messy exit was ‘heartbreaking’

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