Australia head coach Justin Langer believes currently suspended Steve Smith and David Warner cannot be immediately brought into the Australian team setup. He admitted the need for an ‘ease in’ process as far as the veterans of the sport are concerned. Cricket Australia recently upheld the appeal made to reduce their 12-month bans for involvement in the ball tampering controversy during the tour of South Africa. It means they won’t be in contention for selection for at least four months.
Langer, who took over from Darren Lehmann post the Newlands turmoil, had met the duo separately to keep them abreast of the plans. Smith had breakfast with Langer and also spent some time facing Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins in the nets at Sydney ahead of the third T20I against India on Sunday. Also in the nets was Warner who was spoken to before Australia’s tour of the UAE last month and again later on Monday (November 26) afternoon.
“There’s going to be a process for the boys to come back and it is really important we start working on that process from now,” Langer said. “We can’t get to the point and just say ‘right they’re back’. It’s not fair on them, it’s not fair on the team, it’s not fair on everyone.
“It’s nice to have Davey in and Steve had a hit yesterday, I had breakfast with him on Monday morning and I caught up with Davey for a couple of hours that afternoon as well. I didn’t deliberately catch up with them separately. I caught up with Davey in Brisbane before we went to the UAE because I wanted to see him face to face. It’s one thing exchanging text messages and emails, you have to talk face to face. We had a great catch-up.
“It was the first time I’d seen Steven the other day. I wanted it to be between us because there’s lots to be spoken about and then over time we’ll bring the brotherhood together and everything will be okay. It was great. I speak to Cameron Bancroft a bit, they’ve been through a tough 12 months, they’ve been penalised for making a really big mistake, no doubt about that, but we’ve got to get them into the group and every opportunity we get is a positive one.”
Langer compared the current situation to that of Western Australia’s in the early part of the decade. Langer took over the Western Australia job in 2012 and brought together a wayward team and a constantly feuding state association to establish the now successful unit.
“I think we have all got to get together,” Langer said. “When I first took over Western Australian cricket it was like a dysfunctional family and what I meant by that then the media hated the team, the team hated them back, club cricket hated the WACA, the WACA hated them back, the past players hated the WACA, the WACA hated them back.
“There was a lot of angst. I’m probably feeling that a bit now in Australian cricket, there’s a lot of angst and for someone who is passionate about Australian cricket and now the coach I like harmony. I like family. A lot’s gone on, let’s not shy away from that, the closer we can bring the family back together, you would say a dysfunctional family, I know that’s a headline for you, but that’s what I felt back then.
“If you think about the ACA and CA, the public and the team, the media and the team, it’s a bit disjointed at the moment, the more we can bring it back, the more harmony you get the happier environment for everyone. That includes the boys.”