Sport Cricket New Aussie coach Justin Langer lays down his ‘good bloke’ law
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New Aussie coach Justin Langer lays down his ‘good bloke’ law

Justin Langer Cricket
Australia's new coach has laid down the law about behaviour on the field and off. Photo: Getty
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In a bid to finally leave behind the ball-tampering scandal, new Australian cricket coach Justin Langer has called on his squad to be “good blokes” and win back the cricket world’s respect.

But Langer also admits it won’t easy to forget the controversy any time soon, thanks to the reception that’s expected during their limited-overs tour of England.

The former Test opener officially took over from Darren Lehmann by addressing players and staff at a pre-tour camp in Brisbane on Saturday.

Langer admitted he faced a daunting task following the tampering debacle, which led to suspensions for skipper Steve Smith, deputy David Warner and opener Cameron Bancroft.

But Langer believes the antidote to the inevitable heckling from England’s rabid fans and press is clear and simple: Be good blokes.

“I just addressed all the players and coaches,” Langer said, explaining that his “main message” was that “we have to aim to be No.1 in professionalism, No.1 in honesty, No.1 in humility.

“If we get it clear from day one, it makes things a lot easier.

“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.”

The infamous yellow tape vanishes into Cameron Bancroft’s underpants – and Australian cricket’s good name with it.

Langer admitted that would be easier said than done in England.

“I am expecting to cop plenty from the crowds and the media, but that’s England,” he laughed.

“Even when you 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 OK. It will be a good learning experience for our young blokes, and our experienced guys will help navigate that landscape.”

Langer knows exactly what to expect after Ashes tours in 1997, 2001 and 2005.

“I think it has got to become white noise,” he said. “Usually when you are batting, it is like silence because you are concentrating on the ball.

“That’s probably what we need to do – concentrate. Then it should become white noise.”

Langer said it had been a “shock to the system” looking at a team list and not seeing Smith, Warner and Bancroft.

Australia – ranked a lowly world No.5 in ODIs – would embrace the underdog tag on tour, he said.

It plays five ODIs from June 13 and a Twenty20 international before a tri-series T20 series in Zimbabwe in July.

“It won’t take one tour or one year (to win back the Australian public’s trust),” Langer said.

“It will take one behaviour, a thousand, a million behaviours to win back respect.

“If we behave well on and off the field then, hopefully, we will earn some respect, some trust back.

“The Australian public obviously loves the team, but it takes more than just being good cricketers.”

-with AAP