SYDNEY — Former Australia Test batsman Justin Langer ruled himself out of the running for the England and India coaching jobs by signing a two-year contract extension with Western Australia yesterday.
Langer had been linked with both the job of replacing Duncan Fletcher, whose contract with India expired at the end of the World Cup in March, and the position left vacant after England sacked Peter Moores two weeks ago.
The 44-year-old said he had been called twice by England’s new director of cricket Andrew Strauss over the last week but ultimately had let his “gut” and “heart” rule his head.
“I am flattered to be associated with potential international coaching opportunities but the timing isn’t right for my family,” he added.
“Having spent nearly 20 years on the road with the Australian team as a player and then coach, I respect what an enormous commitment it is to be away from your family for almost 12 months of the year.”
Langer was appointed Western Australia coach in 2012 and has guided them to the last two Sheffield Shield finals, this year’s domestic state one-day title and, as the Perth Scorchers, the last two Big Bash Twenty20 titles.
Current Australia coach Darren “Boof” Lehmann, who is contracted until the end of June 2017, earlier this year nominated his former Test team-mate as his likely successor.
“One day I’d like to coach Australia. That could be in 10 years’ time, it could be whenever,” Langer told reporters in Perth.
“I had a really good talk to Boof last week, and he talked about his plan.
“But you can’t predict the future. You can’t predict how someone’s going to be in a year’s time. I know this business. WA could lose the first few games next year and I’ll be a rubbish coach and people will never talk about me in international cricket again.”
His achievements with Western Australia are all the more notable for the fact that he had to turn around the culture of a team which had attracted more headlines for their activities off the pitch than their exploits on it.
“Justin came into his position at a time of great challenges for the WACA,” Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) chief executive Christina Matthews said.
“His mantra of ‘character over coverdrives’ and his devotion to producing great people, not just great cricketers, has turned our men’s programme into a model for Australian cricket.”