SYDNEY – Australia men’s team head coach Justin Langer has appealed to players to remain optimistic during the ongoing global crisis.
The current worldwide emergency has brought all cricket to a standstill. Australia were forced to cancel their home limited-overs series against New Zealand after just one match and their Test tour to Bangladesh in June also looks uncertain at present. With series and tours suspended for an indefinite period, Langer is worried about the impact prolonged isolation will have on a player’s mental health.
However, he currently wants to concentrate on dealing with the 2020/21 national contracts list for the men’s team, which Cricket Australia will announce on 2 April.” I think we’re sticking to the plan of the 2nd of April,” he said. “Out of respect, we’ll talk to the players who have been contracted this year and who missed out on a contract.”
Glenn Maxwell’s recent mental health battle has put things in perspective for other Australian players. But Langer believes that the players should consider this extended break as a blessing, spending time with family and use it to recharge their batteries.” I’m trying to encourage our players to find some silver lining,” he said.
“We identified in South Africa a number of our players were physically and mentally exhausted.” We had all winter (in England) with the World Cup and the Ashes then into our summer… it gives them [players] a really good opportunity to recharge. We’re looking at scenarios to make sure we’ll be ready for whatever comes.”
Langer also explained that Australian management is also prepared to support their players during these testing times.” We talked about it in a conference call yesterday,” he said.” Particularly for any of our staff or players who are home alone basically, we have to keep an eye on those guys and girls to make sure they’re OK.” Caring about people is a really important part of leadership,” he added.