Andrew Strauss
Andrew Strauss

Andrew Strauss ‘wouldn’t rule out’ appointing outgoing Aussie coach Justin Langer as England’s new head coach in what would be a sensational switch of loyalties from Ashes rivals Australia.

Just hours before Justin Langer quit his post as Australia’s coach, Andrew Strauss admitted he would be considered to replace Chris Silverwood and be tasked with reviving England’s ailing Test team after losses against Australia, India and New Zealand in Tests. England had a poor year winning only 4 of their 15 Tests in 2021.

The development came as Aussie cricket legends including his former teammates vented their fury at Cricket Australia for their ’embarrassing’ treatment of Justin Langer, who was offered only a short-term extension to a contract that expires in June 2022. That prompted Justin Langer, 51, to tender his resignation with immediate effect, ending months of speculation over his future in the national coach role.

Chris Silverwood, England former head coach Getty Image.
Chris Silverwood, England former head coach Getty Image.

Andrew Strauss Would Not Rule Justin Lager Out As England’s Next Coach After Chris Silverwood

Justin Langer had done much to restore the reputation of Australian cricket following the 2018 ball-tampering scandal and had just overseen a 4-0 Ashes win over England hot on the heels of victory in the T20I World Cup.

Justin Langer’s coaching style wasn’t to everyone’s taste, however, with an external review last year finding some players thought him too harsh, leading to a poor relationship with the team.

But now the odds are shortening on Justin Langer taking on the England job after Chris Silverwood was axed earlier this week following the debacle Down Under. Andrew Strauss, who is serving as interim managing director of English cricket, enjoys a close relationship with Justin Langer having played together at Middlesex.

Andrew Strauss said: ‘I know him well and on the surface he’s done a very good job with that Australian cricket team so I would’t rule him out [for the coaching job]. ‘I’m sure there are plenty of others as well.’

Andrew Strauss. Photo- Twitter
Andrew Strauss. Photo- Twitter

It followed a brutal week in which Chris Silverwood, managing director Ashley Giles and batting coach Graham Thorpe all lost their jobs in a complete overhaul at the top of English cricket. Test team captain Joe Root survived the cull, however, and can focus on leading England against West Indies next month.

Intriguingly, Andrew Strauss also said: ‘I personally feel someone with an outside view who can check and challenge the thoughts within the dressing room is a healthy thing.’

His remarks were enough to move Justin Langer from odds of 5/1 on Friday to the position of 5/6 as a favourite for the head coach job ahead of South African Gary Kirsten on 9/4.

Justin Langer Was Backed By Michael Vaughan To Be England Coach

Justin Langer immediately won favour from former England captain Michael Vaughan, who believes the ‘cosy’ dressing room needs a shake-up in the wake of their Ashes failure.

Michael Vaughan wrote: ‘I do not see anyone else better suited than Langer to crack heads together and bring some tough management to a group of England players who have become too cosy recently. He is an Ashes winner, T20 World Cup winner and knows everything about playing in Australia. Just go and get him.’

Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Justin Langer was considered for the England role in 2015 and admitted he gave it serious thought before deciding to stay with Western Australia. His resignation as the Australia coach on Saturday led to a chorus of criticism.

Ricky Ponting claimed it was ‘a very small group of players and other support staff that had grown tired of Justin Langer’s intense style’.

He said: ‘Sounds like he mustn’t have had the full backing of the board. He was very keen to continue on in the role, as he should’ve been, having just won a T20 World Cup and the 4-0 result in the Ashes.  That’s been enough to force a man that has put his life and heart and soul into Australian cricket. I actually think it’s a really sad day as far as Australian cricket is concerned.’ 

Matthew Hayden was also angered by the way Justin Langer had been treated.

It could have been a much tighter process,’ Hayden said, adding: ‘We’re talking about a legend of the game, a centurion, an Ashes-winning and World Cup-winning coach.’

Andrew Strauss, who recently became the temporary director of English cricket in the wake of Ashley Giles’ departure, lauded Justin Langer’s success with the Australian team.