SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s cricket team can expect a verbal barrage from England’s players, fans and media on their tour next month following the ball tampering scandal but new coach Justin Langer has told his side they can negate that if they behave better.
Australian cricket was thrown into turmoil in late March after captain Steve Smith, vice-captain David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft conspired to illegally rough up the ball during their test series in South Africa.
All three were banned afterwards, while the Australian team were criticised globally by cricket fans and commentators for what they perceived to be an arrogant and hypocritical team culture.
Langer said he expected that to continue on the tour, which includes five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match.
“I am expecting to cop plenty from the crowds and the media but that’s England,” Langer told reporters in Brisbane on Saturday during the team’s training camp. “Even when your are winning all the time and are squeaky clean, you still cop it.
“We will cop it just as much as usual. But that’s okay… will be a good learning experience for our young blokes and our experienced guys will help navigate that landscape.”
Langer, who replaced Darren Lehmann after the former coach quit following the scandal, had previously said the team would need to earn back the respect of the cricketing world, which could take time. He reiterated that on Saturday.
“We have to aim to be number one in professionalism, number one in honesty, number one in humility,” Langer said.
“It doesn’t matter how much money, how many games, how many runs you made, if you are not a good bloke that is what people remember.
“So if we behave well on and off the field, then hopefully we’ll earn some respect back and earn some trust back.”
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)