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Warne: England should be 'jumping' at chance to appoint Langer

By Tom Patey

London, February 23: Shane Warne said England should be "jumping" at the chance to appoint former Australia coach Justin Langer.

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

That demolition led to the dismissal of England coach Chris Silverwood, though Langer also chose to resign from his role after rejecting a short-term contract extension.

Cricket Australia's (CA) handling of the situation has been widely scrutinised, with Warne one of the most vocal critics, but the legendary former leg-spinner believes England could profit from Langer's exit.

"If I were England, I'd be jumping at him," Warne said on the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast.

"Winning an Ashes and a World Cup, it doesn't get much bigger than that for Australia, but for me [Langer] was a dead man walking when I didn't hear the captain or any other players sticking up for him, saying he was fantastic. I found that really disappointing.

"Why couldn't Cricket Australia come out and say they were not renewing his contract straight away but would wait until the end of the summer, see who the best candidate is and if Langer is still the best candidate give him a contract?

"I thought it was pretty poorly handled and that Cricket Australia were disgraceful in the way they handled it."

Paul Collingwood takes charge in the interim, with England heading to the Caribbean for a three-Test series against West Indies, which starts on March 8.

However, Joe Root's tourists will do so without Stuart Broad and James Anderson – who have taken a combined 1,177 wickets – after the pair were surprise omissions.

Mark Wood, Ollie Robinson, Craig Overton, Saqib Mahmood and the uncapped Matt Fisher are the specialist seam bowlers included instead.

But Warne understands why Anderson was not selected, though he questioned leaving Broad out.

"I wasn't surprised Anderson got left out," he said. "He is England's best ever bowler and when the conditions suit he is still a handful but when it was flat [in Australia] I think he struggled.

"He bowled a nice line and length, was economical and could dry up and end and could do a role with firepower at the other end. But I think he needs conditions.

"You want him to play in England and if he plays in the West Indies after the Ashes series it is going to be hard in England so I don't mind him having a break – but I would have played Broad.

"I think at times he bowled really well in Australia. People lump Broad and Anderson in together but Broad is four years younger than Anderson, so I am surprised Broad didn't go to the West Indies."

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Story first published: Wednesday, February 23, 2022, 3:00 [IST]
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