Justin Langer says there are “numerous reasons” behind the departure of David Saker as Australia’s assistant coach, adding he wasn’t surprised by the 52-year-old’s sudden exit.
Saker’s departure was announced on Thursday morning, with the former Victoria and Tasmania fast bowler to leave the role immediately.
After several discussions between the pair since Langer took over the top job in April, the coach says he and Saker shared a hug at the end of the Test in Canberra earlier this week as it became clear it would be his last in the job.
“He and I have had a lot of conversations over the last six or nine months, so it’s not really a surprise, to be honest,” Langer said.
“In the perfect world it would have been cleaner at the end of it, but the world’s not always clean and works exactly as you want it to work. I’m all good with it.
“We shook hands and had a hug the day after the Test match and just realised.
“He’s got a young family, he’s been on this circuit now for some time. And we just realised it was the right time for him to step away. We’re starting to realise it’s very hectic and he probably recognised that.
“It was just the right time with the World Cup and the Ashes, you’ve got to have your heart 100 per cent in it. And if it’s not, it’s too hard a business.”
Troy Cooley, who like Saker previously spearheaded England to a Test series win against Australia as fast-bowling coach of their Ashes rivals, will take on the role for the upcoming tours of India and the UAE.
Langer did not expand on what the main reasons were for Saker’s exit, but said his replacement would hit need to hit the ground running just months out from World Cup and Ashes campaigns in the UK this year.
“We’ll look at this for the World Cup and the Ashes and beyond,” he said.
“It’s quite exciting. We’ve got to get the right person; whether that’s a selector or a coach or whoever comes into the team, we just have to work out who the right people are.”
Saker’s departure means Australia will need to fill three high profile roles in 2019; Pat Howard’s full-time replacement as Head of Team Performance is yet to be confirmed, while selector Greg Chappell is set to depart after the Ashes in September.
Langer praised Chappell and said he was not opposed to a recently-retired player replacing the 70-year-old in the role.
“Everyone’s got a view, but you’ve got to put your hand up and get in the hot seat,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to seeing who applies for that position.
“There’s no better cricketing company in the world than Greg Chappell. We’ll miss those conversations. He’s very wise when it comes to the game of cricket.
“Who that replacement is, whether they’re young or old … we have to get the right person.”
Qantas tour of India
First T20: February 24, Visakhapatnam
Second T20: February 27, Bengaluru
First ODI: March 2, Hyderabad
Second ODI: March 5, Nagpur
Third ODI: March 8, Ranchi
Fourth ODI: March 10, Mohali
Fifth ODI: March 13, Delhi