Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) chairman Todd Greenberg has dismissed suggestions that the gulf between his country’s current and former cricketers has become more apparent following the departure of Justin Langer as the team’s coach.
Cricket experts have reportedly noticed a marked lack of participation among Australian fans and the country’s cricketers during the ICC Men’s T20. Globalism cup, which they felt translated into poor crowd attendance at stadiums across the country when the home team was playing.
They compared the poor attendance for Australia’s matches to India’s recent Super 12 match against Zimbabwe, where a crowd of more than 81,000 spectators turned out to watch the insignificant match.
After Australia’s disappointing performance in their defense of the T20 World Cup title, many lament the negative coverage of the team.
Langer’s enforced departure, despite being the coach of last year’s T20 World Cup winning team in the UAE and their 4-0 Ashes win, has also been the cause of the apparent disconnect between fans and players. Several notable former players are former teammates of Langer, W.J cricket Australia (CA) reports that the move to relieve their colleagues did not go well with them.
However, ACA President Greenberg is not convinced that the rift between current and former players has worsened recently.
“It’s hard but I will say if we look at history, every generation of Australian cricket has had a critical eye on the next, which probably goes back to the indomitable (Don) Bradman,” Greenberg told SEN Whately.
“But I would say that the departure of Justin (Langer) as a coach and those close and strong relationships he had with a number of players in that era probably exacerbate that, but I would like to think that our former players love and hope to see the current players do a good job.
“Saying that a lot of these former players are in key roles – whether they’re in media or commentary roles – and let’s just face it, they pay to have their say. I think we have to look at it through that lens because these players are now in key roles. They have been asked and paid to provide criticism of our current players, especially when they are not performing in a tournament as we have just seen.
“Our current players can expect that level of criticism, and I think that’s fair and reasonable,” Greenberg said.
However, Greenberg added that Langer’s exit could be one of the reasons for the team’s poor form in the T20 World Cup.
“In some ways when Justin wasn’t renewed as a coach, I felt that no matter what happened, at some point if the Australian cricket team didn’t perform at the level and expectation that they had hoped for… it had the potential to happen. I don’t think it’s a surprise, But hopefully we’ll have a really strong summer and only hear positive things compared to the critical stuff,” Greenberg added.