New chairman Lachlan Henderson says Cricket Australia must take time to reflect on the "messy" manner in which Justin Langer's reign as head coach came to an end.

Langer resigned this month after only being offered a six-month contract extension on the back of a 4-0 Ashes thrashing of England.

The former Australia opener had also masterminded a T20 World Cup triumph in the United Arab Emirates last year.

Eyebrows were raised over Langer's dramatic exit, but Australia Test captain Cummins said the feeling in the dressing room was it was the right time for a new coach to be appointed.

New chair Henderson does not want a repeat of the way the situation was played out so publicly. 

He told reporters: "It got messy in terms of things playing out in the media. But the board's role was to receive recommendations from management. We made our decision based on that.

"With any significant decision like that boards should reflect on that process that was involved.

"It is unfortunate that a bit of that played out in the media, and we will reflect on whether that should have been accelerated through the summer."

Henderson will look to bring stability after taking over from interim leader Richard Freudenstein, who stepped in following Earl Eddings' resignation.

The new chair has vowed to be transparent in a new era for Cricket Australia.

"My communication style will be to be open, transparent, hopefully consistent," he said on Thursday. 

"I work in health care. We've negotiated a pandemic in the last two years. That's required a fair amount of resilience. So within the bounds of the confidentiality of boards, I hope that there's a really open and transparent way forward."

Matt Henry was pinching himself after matching the great Richard Hadlee's best Test figures on home soil as South Africa were skittled out for only 95 by New Zealand on day one of the series.

Henry was recalled with Trent Boult on paternity leave and the seamer grasped his opportunity on his home ground, taking a stunning 7-23 at Hagley Oval.

The 30-year-old ripped through the Proteas in Christchurch, Henry going joint-third on the list of the Black Caps' best figures by matching Hadlee's haul against India in Wellington back in 1976.

Zubayr Hamza top scored with just 25 in South Africa's lowest Test total against New Zealand, who closed on 116-3 in reply after the tourists dropped four catches in a nightmare start to the two-match series.

Henry was on cloud nine after claiming his first five-wicket Test haul and the joint-best Test figures by a New Zealander on home soil.

The 30-year-old said: "You've got to kind of pinch yourself a little bit when you hear those stats and to be able to share that with Sir Richard Hadlee is pretty special. It was a pretty surreal moment really."

Henry added: "I think just playing here at Hagley and having that experience and knowing what my lengths were and how to operate [were the key ot his heroics].

"As a bowling group I think we bowled really well together and we were able to create pressure at both ends and not really let them go anywhere, which is probably key to how we got the wickets."

 

Henry has had to be patient to get another chance given the strength of New Zealand's attack but reaped the rewards for staying positive.

He said: "It's not always easy at times, but you try not to focus too much on those external things you can't control and making sure I'm still in that mindset of just trying to keep getting better, and using experiences where I am playing cricket that when I do get my opportunity to take it.

"That's led me to where I am at the moment – where I can keep coming in and stay positive and not get too caught up in those external things and those noises."

Henry Nicholls was unbeaten on 37 at stumps after Devon Conway fell to Duanne Olivier (2-36) late in the day.

Dean Elgar says the Proteas could serve up some spice for New Zealand's South Africa-born players when the two-match Test series starts at Hagley Oval on Thursday.

Devon Conway will face his country of birth for the first time in Christchurch, where the prolific batter will look to continue an outstanding start to his Black Caps career.

Neil Wagner is another South Africa-born player who is set to do battle with the Proteas once again as New Zealand eye an elusive first Test series win over the Proteas.

The Zimbabwe-born Colin de Grandhomme is poised to return from injury for a Black Caps team that will not include captain Kane Williamson due to an elbow injury, while Trent Boult is absent as he awaits the birth of his third child and Ross Taylor has retired.

Elgar says he does not see Conway as a South African and has not ruled out a few words being exchanged with the left-hander in the heat of a battle.

Asked if the likes of Conway could be in for some verbals, the South Africa captain said: "Maybe, you never know. We respect the background that a lot of the Kiwis have, they have one or two South African or Zimbabwean-born players.

"But the way I view is that they are New Zealanders now and have obviously earned their qualifications, because they've been there for some years now.

"I don't view them as South African players, because they have a different badge on their chest. They've got the New Zealand flag on their chest, so the way I view it is come business time tomorrow, we are going to be all about business when we step over the white line.

"There will be times when we have chats with the guys, because I'm mindful the guys do know some of the guys from back home and that's perfectly fine, but when gameday comes, 11am tomorrow we have to be mindful of what we have to focus on as a side."

New Zealand were held to a 1-1 draw with Bangladesh in their last Test series, while the tourists are on a high from a 2-1 victory over India on home soil.

The Black Caps have only won four Test matches against South Africa and they will be led by Tom Latham in the absence of Williamson.

Latham: Opportunity knocks in the absence of key men

With Boult absent, Matt Henry will come into the New Zealand team and Henry Nicholls is set to move up a spot to number four in the order following Taylor's retirement.

Stand-in skipper Latham said: "Some of the guys that are usually in the squad aren’t here, but it does present opportunities for different guys to step up at different stages.

“It’s frustrating and disappointing they're not here, but that’s professional sport and professional cricket and some days you don't have a fully-fit squad.”

Hamish Rutherford was named in the squad seven years after his last Test appearance, but the opener is expected to be a spectator.

 

Erwee in line for Proteas bow

Sarel Erwee is poised to make his Proteas debut at number three but after Keegan Petersen was ruled out of the tour due to COVID-19, but Elgar was keeping his cards close to his chest when asked about selection on the eve of the opener.

"We have a clear indication of what our balance is going to be even though we haven’t finalised our team yet," said Elgar.

“Whether to employ a frontline spinner is a hot topic debate for us. It’s one of our bigger decisions, whether there’s space for one in conditions that aren't necessarily helpful.

"History has shown that the spinners don't play too much of a role at the Hagley Oval. So yeah, I can't say yes or no just yet. Maybe wait and see what happens at the toss."

Uncapped paceman Mark Steketee has been called up for Australia's Test series in Pakistan next month after Michael Neser was ruled out.

Neser suffered a side strain during Queensland's Marsh Cup defeat to New South Wales on Monday and the quick bowler will not travel for Australia's first tour of Pakistan since 1998.

His team-mate Steketee has been drafted into the squad for a three-match series that starts at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on March 4.

Steketee has taken 29 Sheffield Shield wickets at an average of 16.31 this season and claimed match figures of 8-100 against New South Wales last week.

Brendan Doggett is on standby to face Babar Azam's side along with Sean Abbott.

Jhye Richardson was not considered, as the Australia selectors manage his workload.

Tim Paine has returned to cricket in a coaching capacity, but the former Australia Test captain is in no rush to resume his playing career.

Paine stepped down as Australia skipper in November - just 19 days before the Ashes series started - after he was embroiled in a sexting scandal.

The 37-year-old took a break from the game "for the foreseeable future" and has kept a low profile since his reign as captain of his country came to an end.

Paine has showed no signs of getting back in the middle, but the wicketkeeper has been passing on his experience with the Tasmanian Tigers.

Tasmania interim head coach Ali de Winter told reporters on Tuesday: "It's been a nice little distraction for him, I guess, to spend some time with us.

"He's been great with our young players stepping in [but] where he stands with his playing of cricket, I don't think he's really thought that far ahead.

"He's still doing his own physical training; he's not doing any batting or wicketkeeping at the moment, but he's certainly present around the group.

"I think he's just enjoying the re-entry into our group and just focusing on family life."

Australia thrashed England 4-0 to retain the Ashes after Pat Cummins replaced Paine as captain.

Andrew Strauss called for England's bowlers to step up after the omission of James Anderson and Stuart Broad against the West Indies but suggested the pair could feature later in the year.

England's interim managing director Strauss, interim coach Paul Collingwood and head scout James Taylor made up the three-man selection panel for the series, which starts in Antigua on March 8, and opted for a host of changes to the side.

Joe Root will once again lead his country, despite a 4-0 Ashes hammering by Australia in December and January, with Collingwood acting as interim coach following the departure of Chris Silverwood.

Anderson and Broad, who have managed 1,177 wickets in 321 Tests between them, were the most notable names left out of the touring party for the three-Test series in the Caribbean.

Lancashire pair Saqib Mahmood and Matthew Parkinson, along with Yorkshire's Matthew Fisher, were all included as the trio eye red-ball international debuts.

Strauss challenged the bowlers of the new-look squad to deliver in the absence of their evergreen stars, insisting that both the fresh faces and the more experienced players – such as Chris Woakes, Mark Wood and Ben Stokes – must step up.

"This is an opportunity to refresh and look forward," Strauss told BBC Sport in an interview published on Wednesday. "We've brought some new blood into the bowling resources. 

"But we're also asking some of our existing bowlers to play a slightly different role to the one they've played before and show a bit more leadership."

 

Strauss reiterated the omission of Broad and Anderson does not signal the end for the duo, while he denied the pair's stature could be intimidating to captain Root and his younger players.

"They've earned the right to have that stature," he added.

"But we also have to think that there is life beyond them as well and we need to develop some of the other bowlers and allow them to play more of a leadership role, rather than just a followership role.

"No-one is saying Broad and Anderson won't feature this summer and beyond.

"My job is to give the new director of cricket and coach options from which to pick and we can learn more about the options we do have on this tour.

"The new coach and director of cricket will look at selection for the summer and Broad and Anderson will be very much in the mix."

Former opener Strauss also confirmed that Root will come in at number three, while the uncapped Durham batter Alex Lees will partner Zak Crawley at the top of the order amid England's ongoing battle problems.

"A lot of our batting problems have come at the top of the order," Strauss continued.

"Alex Lees comes in as a mature cricketer who knows his game well and it's an opportunity for him to stake his claim with Zak Crawley.

"Joe Root has said very categorically that he wants to bat at three and take that responsibility on.

"That's quite a fundamental shift in itself and creates a bit of space in the middle order for some of the less experienced players to play better and more consistently."

Australia Test captain Pat Cummins believes Justin Langer had no need to apologise for his intensity but insists he will always stick up for his mates amid a backlash to his sacking as head coach.

Former opener Langer guided his country to T20 World Cup success last November before overseeing a 4-0 Ashes thrashing of England across December and January.

However, the 51-year-old rejected a short-term extension on his contract, which was due to expire in June, and resigned as head coach of Australia last week.

Mitchell Johnson, Usman Khawaja and Shane Warne headed a host of names in Australian cricket to question the treatment of Langer, who has recently been linked with the vacant England head coach role.

But Cummins responded by emphasising his defence of his team-mates and Cricket Australia on Wednesday as he addressed the matter for the first time with a statement and later at a news conference.

The fast bowler wrote: "Justin has acknowledged that his style was intense. And it was. He has apologised to players and staff for his intensity.

"I think the apology was unnecessary because the players were okay with JL's intensity. It came from a good place - his fierce love of Australia and the baggy green - something which has served Australian cricket well for three decades.

"I take this responsibility seriously. I live and breathe it. We also have a duty to our mates. Many former players have reached out to me and silently offered me their advice, which is welcome.

"Some others have spoken in the media – which is also welcome and comes from a love of the game and their support of a mate.

"To all past players, I want to say this: Just as you have always stuck up for your mates, I'm sticking up for mine."

Cummins, who also explained it would not have been right for him to make "public comment" on the topic earlier, praised Langer's efforts, though he is now looking forward to a new era of Australian cricket.

"I think this group looking forward, a few things through the review process we really wanted and found important to get the best out of our players is I think the players benefit from a more collaborative approach," Cummins told reporters.

"A big theme this summer was to be more calm, more composed. That's been the feedback from the players, staff and Cricket Australia that that's the direction we want to take the team.

"I think he tweaked and changed quite a bit. He deserves a lot of credit for that. I think the question then became do we think that it's sustainable. We thought it is the right time to make a change.

"I think some of these skill sets are perhaps a little bit different to perhaps his traditional coaching style.

"I think he tweaked his coaching style in the last six months and did a really good job, but we think now is the right time for a different direction. It's a matter of opinion but we think it's the right one."

Andrew McDonald has been promoted from assistant coach in the interim and is expected to lead Australia when they tour Pakistan in March.

England have left out their all-time leading wicket-takers, James Anderson and Stuart Broad, for the upcoming Test series against West Indies.

In the wake of head coach Chris Silverwood departing after a dismal Ashes series, England will be led in the Caribbean by captain Joe Root and interim coach Paul Collingwood.

There has been a push to freshen up their red-ball squad for the three-match tussle, starting in Antigua on March 8, and that has meant Anderson and Broad losing their places.

The selection panel, consisting of interim managing director of cricket Andrew Strauss, Collingwood and head scout James Taylor, named a 16-man squad on Tuesday.

As well as Broad and Anderson, six other players who featured in Australia have been left out: Dom Bess, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Dawid Malan and openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed, who both endured poor stints Down Under.

Strauss contended this was by no means definitely the end of the road in Tests for Broad, 35, or Anderson, who turns 40 in July. Between them, the pair have taken 1,177 wickets in 321 Tests.

 

"In respect of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, I want to emphasise this does not mean the end for them as England players," said Strauss, who captained both seamers during his playing career.

"We feel that it is important to look at some exciting new bowling potential and give some added responsibility to other players who have featured previously.

"No one doubts the quality and experience that James and Stuart bring to the England set-up. It will be up to the new managing director and permanent head coach to decide on whether they will be involved this summer and beyond."

However, Strauss also explained that England are looking to "start a new cycle" after a run of poor results in the longest format.

"We felt that it was time to draw a line after the Ashes defeat, look forward and give some impetus with an influx of new players," he said.

"This selection of this squad is the start of a process and a journey to get England Test cricket back to where it needs to be, and the hard work starts now."

Durham opener Alex Lees and Yorkshire seamer Matthew Fisher have earned maiden call-ups, while Lancashire's Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson will be aiming to make their Test debuts.

Wicketkeeper Ben Foakes has also been included in Buttler's absence, having not featured since playing against India in March 2021.

England squad:

Joe Root (captain), Jonny Bairstow, Zak Crawley, Matthew Fisher, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Australian batsman Usman Khawaja says Test skipper or white-ball skipper Aaron Finch needs to come out and explain Justin Langer's exit as head coach.

Khawaja, who returned to the Test side during the Ashes after more than two years outside the team, was named in Australia's squad for next month's Pakistan Test series.

The 35-year-old admitted he was sad for "the person" when Langer resigned as Australia head coach amid a messy exit with talk of a player revolt.

Langer spent almost four years in the head coaching role but resigned on Saturday, rejecting a six-month contract extension.

The 51-year-old's exit comes after leading Australia to a 4-0 Ashes triumph and a stunning T20 World Cup victory which has raised eyebrows, yet there have been rumblings of internal issues.

"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 told reporters on Tuesday.

"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 said Langer had tried to take on player feedback and insisted "always got along with him".

But several key members of the Australian side, including Cummins, failed to publicly back Langer for a contract extension in the lead-up to Saturday's announcement.

"It's part of speculation which I don't think is really healthy. I just don't want to add to it," Cummins said on Thursday when asked about a contract renewal for Langer.

"That's Cricket Australia's job. It's not my job. I've really loved my time working with JL and we've had an evaluation process. I've been part of that, a lot of other players and staff have been part of that.

"Just like when we get evaluated. I've got huge respect for JL, really like working with him. But it's not my call."

Australia's first Test squad after Justin Langer's departure has been confirmed with 18 players selected for the team's first tour of Pakistan in nearly 25 years.

Spinner Ashton Agar is the only addition to the wider group that won the Ashes 4-0 over England, with fast bowler Jhye Richardson left out.

Agar comes into the squad to add another spin option for Australia alongside Nathan Lyon and Mitch Swepson given the likely favourable conditions on the subcontinent.

Opening batsman Marcus Harris has held his spot in the squad despite being dropped for the fifth Ashes Test, while Mitch Marsh and Josh Inglis are included as all-rounder and wicketkeeper cover after carrying the drinks in the Ashes.

“This squad covers for all scenarios including the conditions given it has been such a long time since Australia was last in Pakistan," National Selection Panel chair George Bailey said.

“With several subcontinent tours and a one-day World Cup in India on the near horizon this is a great first up challenge for the group after the successful home Ashes Series.

"It’s also a very historic tour given the length of time since an Australian side last toured Pakistan.”

Australia, who have not toured Pakistan since 1998 for security reasons, are also scheduled for an away series in Sri Lanka in June.

The three-Test match series against Pakistan begins in Rawalpindi on March 4, with further games in Karachi and Lahore.

The Pakistan tour will also include three One-Day Internationals and one T20 International, although that squad is yet to be announced.

Australia Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith (vc), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Michael Neser, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner

Australia's first Test squad after Justin Langer's departure has been confirmed with 18 players selected for the team's first tour of Pakistan in nearly 25 years.

Spinner Ashton Agar is the only addition to the wider group that won the Ashes 4-0 over England, with fast bowler Jhye Richardson left out.

Agar comes into the squad to add another spin option for Australia alongside Nathan Lyon and Mitch Swepson given the likely favourable conditions on the subcontinent.

Opening batsman Marcus Harris has held his spot in the squad despite being dropped for the fifth Ashes Test, while Mitch Marsh and Josh Inglis are included as all-rounder and wicketkeeper cover after carrying the drinks in the Ashes.

“This squad covers for all scenarios including the conditions given it has been such a long time since Australia was last in Pakistan," National Selection Panel chair George Bailey said.

“With several subcontinent tours and a one-day World Cup in India on the near horizon this is a great first up challenge for the group after the successful home Ashes Series.

"It’s also a very historic tour given the length of time since an Australian side last toured Pakistan.”

Australia, who have not toured Pakistan since 1998 for security reasons, are also scheduled for an away series in Sri Lanka in June.

The three-Test match series against Pakistan begins in Rawalpindi on March 4, with further games in Karachi and Lahore.

The Pakistan tour will also include three One-Day Internationals and one T20 International, although that squad is yet to be announced.

Australia Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith (vc), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Michael Neser, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner

Paul Collingwood will lead England in their Test series against West Indies following Chris Silverwood's sacking.

The ECB has made big changes following a humbling 4-0 Ashes defeat to Australia, with Silverwood and assistant Graham Thorpe following managing director Ashley Giles out of the door.

But Collingwood, another assistant, has remained in place and will take charge for the three Tests, as he did for last month's T20I tour.

After the ECB confirmed his short-term appointment on Monday, Collingwood said: "I am genuinely excited to be leading the Test team for the tour of the Caribbean. I can't wait to get started.

"Having a challenging Test series against the West Indies straight off the back of the Ashes disappointment gives us a chance from now to reset and rebuild.

"Playing Test matches for England is the highest accolade in the game. My objective is to give players clarity, direction and encouragement for them to start building something special.

"I have spoken to Joe Root and Ben Stokes, and both are excited and passionate to take the team forward in this new cycle. Although they know it won't be easy, they have the desire and bravery to do things differently to ensure the team can prosper.

"We have an opportunity to get back on track."

The England squad is set to be named later this week, with Collingwood to join them in Antigua on February 25 following a break in Barbados.

After almost four tumultuous years, Justin Langer's tenure as Australia head coach has come to an end.

Langer's resignation was confirmed on Saturday just a day on from a lengthy board meeting with Cricket Australia.

The news comes despite Langer having led Australia to T20 World Cup glory and an emphatic home Ashes series triumph in recent months, with the now former coach's intensity away from the pitch a seeming point of contention among the playing squad.

With Langer's time at an end, here is a look at some of his highs and lows in charge of Australia.

Lows:

White-ball whitewash to England

Just a month on from replacing Darren Lehmann in the aftermath of the Newlands ball-tampering scandal, Langer endured a desperately disappointing white-ball tour of England. Australia were whitewashed 5-0 in the ODI series and lost by 28 runs in the solitary T20I as life without suspended duo Steve Smith and David Warner began in inauspicious fashion.

No home comforts against India

In January 2019, Langer and his team made unwanted history as Australia were subjected to a home Test series defeat to a side from Asia for the first time as India secured a 2-1 victory. Wins in the first and third Tests for the tourists had sandwiched a 146-run drubbing in the second, but when the fourth contest ended in a draw Virat Kohli and his team could celebrate a famous triumph.

More India woe

Two years on, Australia were in a stronger position against the same opposition with Smith and Warner having long-since returned from their international suspensions. Things started well when India were knocked over for a measly 36 in the second innings of the first Test en route to victory in Adelaide. But India levelled things up in the second match and, after a drawn third Test, were triumphant in the Brisbane decider as murmurs of discontent over Langer's leadership began.

Highs

Plenty of heart in England

Australia were pretty much ever presents in enemy territory during the English summer of 2019 and Langer's team showed signs of encouragement. A year on from the white-ball drubbings inflicted by England, Australia – buoyed by the return of Warner of and Smith – enjoyed a valiant run to the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup where they were beaten by the hosts. Soon after it was time for five-day cricket, and Australia retained the Ashes after a 2-2 drawn series. It was the first time they had avoided defeat in England since 2001.

Back on top of the world

By May 2020, Australia were well and truly back in their groove. Series wins on home soil against Pakistan and New Zealand saw them return to the number-one ranked team in Test cricket, while they also ascended to the top of the T20 rankings for the first time in their history.

World Cup glory

Australia were crowned T20 World Cup champions for the first time in the United Arab Emirates in November 2021, enjoying a dominant win over New Zealand – the same team they had defeated in the 2015 ODI World Cup showpiece – in the final. However, Langer himself admitted he had taken more of a backseat role for the tournament and the victory was said to have stemmed from a player-driven environment.

Ashes dominance

It has been less than a month since the end of a home Ashes series, which Australia completely dominated against a woeful England. The Aussies retained the urn in record-breaking time and only some valiant English defence in the fourth Test in Sydney denied the hosts a 5-0 whitewash. The build-up had not gone exactly to plan with captain Tim Paine having stood down amid an illicit-texting scandal, while new skipper Pat Cummins did not endorse Langer for a new contract during the series.

Justin Langer refused Cricket Australia's (CA) offer of a short-term contract extension, CEO Nick Hockley has said.

It was confirmed by Langer's management group DSEG that he had stepped down as Australia head coach on Saturday, following a lengthy meeting with CA the day prior.

Langer's most recent assignment saw Australia hammer England 4-0 in the Ashes, which followed on from a T20 World Cup triumph in the United Arab Emirates.

However, the latter achievement is said to have stemmed from a player-driven environment with Langer having agreed to take a more hands-off approach after receiving criticism following a home defeat to India in the 2020-21 Test series and subsequent white-ball losses to West Indies and Bangladesh.

Langer's intensity away from the pitch has been an apparent point of contention among some of the playing squad.

Australia are set to defend their T20 crown on home soil later this year and Langer - whose winning record is bettered only by John Buchanan among Australia coaches since 1985 when they began employing full-time head coaches – was offered the chance to take charge through that tournament.

However, that offer was not taken up, with Hockley hoping Langer would have stayed on for a "period of transition". Andrew McDonald, Australia assistant coach, will instead take charge in the interim.

"We're disappointed that Justin decided not to accept this extension and instead resigned, effective immediately," Hockley told reporters on Saturday afternoon.

"We very much felt that Justin had earned the right to defend the T20 World Cup on home soil … but we understand and respect his decision."

A CA statement added: "Justin was offered a short-term extension to his current contract, which sadly he has opted not to accept.

"CA would like to thank Justin for his outstanding leadership since he became Australian men's team coach in 2018 and for guiding the team to the T20 World Cup title last year and the 4-0 Ashes victory.

"Justin is not only a legend of the game but an outstanding individual.

"The contract extension offered to Justin was the result of a thorough review process that evaluated many factors including future requirements of the team and the upcoming extensive schedule of fixtures.

"The extension was approved by the CA Board and was put to Justin last night. It included the opportunity to defend the T20 World Cup title in Australia at the end of this year.

"Justin informed CA this morning he was not accepting the offer and would resign with immediate effect."

Ricky Ponting described Justin Langer's departure as head coach as a "sad day" and said Cricket Australia's (CA) handling of the situation was "embarrassing".

The news of Langer's exit as Australia coach was confirmed by his management team DSEG and followed a lengthy meeting with CA late on Friday.

Ponting is a former a team-mate and long-time friend of Langer, and the Australia great criticised the way both he and former captain Tim Paine – who resigned just three weeks out from the Ashes amid the emergence of an investigation four years ago over explicit messages sent to a female co-worker -– have been treated by CA.

Speaking to ABC Radio, Ponting said: ""It is a really sad day as far as Australian cricket is concerned and if you look back it has been a really poor six months on the whole in the way that Cricket Australia has handled some of the better people in the Australian cricket - Justin Langer and Tim Paine - and I think it's been almost embarrassing the way they have handled those two cases.

"He mustn't have had the full backing of the board. Me knowing Justin the way that I do, he was very keen to continue in the role, as he should have been after what's been the best coaching period of his international career having just won the T20 World Cup and then the 4-0 result in the Ashes.

"It seems like a very strange time for a coach to be departing. Reading the tea leaves it sounds like a few - and as he [Langer] says to me a small group in the playing group and a couple of other staff around the team - haven't entirely loved the way he has gone about it.

"That's been enough to force a man who has put his life and heart and soul into Australian cricket and done a sensational job at turning around the culture and the way the Australian team has been looked at in the last few years to push him out of the job." 

Only John Buchanan has a better winning record among Australia coaches than Langer since 1985 when they began employing full-time head coaches.

Langer oversaw an Ashes drubbing of England in his final Test series, which followed immediately from T20 World Cup glory in the United Arab Emirates.

However, the latter triumph is said to have stemmed from a player-driven environment with Langer having agreed to take a more hands-off approach after receiving criticism following a home defeat to India in the 2020-21 Test series and subsequent white-ball losses to West Indies and Bangladesh.

Langer's intensity away from the pitch has been an apparent point of contention among some of the playing squad.

Ponting was asked whether Test skipper Pat Cummins was part of the dissenters and if he found that disappointing, to which he replied: "Justin is a great mate of mine and I know how passionate he is about the Australian coaching job.

"He wanted to continue on and be the best coach and have the best cricket team in the world.

"I think Pat also has been put in a difficult situation as captain, if it's not just him and it is other players coming to him and letting him know that maybe they think Justin is not the right man then that puts Pat in a difficult position as well.

"If he had got on the front foot and endorsed Justin they would not have been in a position to move him on.

"I am close to Justin, we are like brothers but I have not got too heavily involved in this, as much as giving him a pat on the back and put an arm around him here and there, there was no way I could change the way this was heading.

"What's happened today I've felt was coming for quite a while, even looking back before the T20 World Cup there was a lot of speculation there."

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