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Langer labels Aussie cricketers 'spoilt brats'

Wide World of Sports logo Wide World of Sports 13/06/2018 Sacha Mirzabegian

Newly appointed Australian cricket coach Justin Langer has spoken of the culture of the national side prior to his appointment, saying Darren Lehmann’s side carried on like “spoilt brats”.

Langer spoke in length about Australia’s reputation on the international stage in an interview with former England captain Nasser Hussain on Sky Sports.

The Australian coach said historically Australia was well known for its tenacity and skill on the pitch but in the last few years, the narrative had changed.

“Once upon a time, the opposition didn’t like us because we played really good, hard cricket — we were very skilful and we won a lot of games.

“It’s easy to dislike the opposition if they’re good, but there have been too many whispers in the last 12 months or so about the abuse on the field, or dare I say, the side playing like spoilt brats.”

Justin Langer wearing a hat © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Langer said he was shocked to see how things unfolded in South Africa with the ball tampering scandal which saw Steve Smith, David Warner and Camerono Bancroft suspended.

“When that moment happened, as a past player and lover of Australia, I nearly died. And when I saw it was Cameron Bancroft, my heart nearly came out of my chest, I couldn’t believe it.”

During Langer’s years in the Australian cricket team, the Aussies were also seen as a side with plenty of mongrel. Guys like Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds did push the boundaries in order to get an advantage but were always kept in check by captain Steve Waugh.

The current Australian coach believes the major difference between the two sides comes down to delegating authority.

I think Steve Smith maybe just wasn’t strong enough in his leadership. But, he loves the game of cricket — he practices harder than anyone I’ve ever met — and he is a very, very nice young lad. There’s no doubt about that.

David Warner holding a glass of wine © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd

“Matty Hayden played really hard cricket, Andrew Symonds at times played really hard, Steve Waugh. He didn’t have to say much, he’d just have to look at you and you’d be nervous.”

Despite the negative headlines surrounding Australia’s approach to the game over recent years, Langer confirmed sledging will still be part of the way his side plays the game. The Australia coach said there’s a difference between banter and abuse.

"It depends how you define sledging. In Australia, it’s almost a term of endearment," said Langer. "If I play cards with my 12-year-old daughter Gracie, then we sledge each other, or call it banter or call it chat, whatever you want. I’ll play golf with my Mum and Dad and go, “nice sledge, nice sledge!” But we don’t abuse each other, there is no room for abuse anywhere. I don’t think it is a trait anyone would be proud of, abusing someone.”

Australia will take on England to kick off their ODI series at the Oval on Wednesday night.

Both sides will shake hands before proceedings get underway, after Australian captain Tim Paine set a precedent in the fourth Test against South Africa in the wake of the ball-tampering incident.

a close up of a fence: Australian cricket captain Tim Paine believes the Aussies can topple England in their first outing since the ball-tampering scandal © Provided by Nine Digital Pty Ltd Australian cricket captain Tim Paine believes the Aussies can topple England in their first outing since the ball-tampering scandal

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