Justin Langer has promised to be strong with player culture issues in his new role as coach of the state’s cricket team, declaring he would value “character over cover drives any day”.
The news that Langer would be appointed today was revealed on thewest.com.au last Friday.
Langer, officially appointed as State coach yesterday, said the outside perception was that cricket in WA was a shambles.
"We have got to work on it yeah," he said. “Perception is reality. I am going to sit back for the next period and have a look and see with my own eyes."
"Whether the guys like it or not or they think they are being picked on, the perception out there is that they think we are a bit of a shambles – that we are on drugs and we are drinking and we are playing poor cricket. I have heard it all before.
"Is there a culture issue? It is something we have got to look at and we have got to be strong with."
Langer said he accepted the job with two main objectives: To bring WA cricket back to life, and to turn the boys playing cricket for the State at the moment into men.
He said his methods would be to get players to work hard, to speak honestly with each other, celebrate successes, earn respect back and have respect for the past.
He indicated that Shaun Marsh, dropped for poor form and poor off-field behaviour, would be one of the first people he would speak with.
Mitchell Marsh was also a great cricketing talent but had a long way to go to fulfill that talent, he said.
"If they want to buy into the values we are going to instill they are a very high priority," Langer said.
The former batting star, regarded one of the toughest cricket characters the state has produced, described himself "absolutely pumped." To be taking the job.
"I am very excited to come home to Perth. I am obviously very passionate about Western Australia and West Australian cricket.
"To be able to pursue my ambition of coaching in my home state with people I care deeply about is very exciting.
"From an outside point of view there are a lot of people who are bleeding in WA who love cricket in this State.
"Cricket Australia’s objective is for cricket to become Australia’s favourite sport. I want it to be WA’s favourite sport.
"The biggest objective is to help these boys become men on and off the cricket field.
"I think if we help them develop into men we are going to see results on the cricket field and people are going to be proud of them off the field whether it is their families, friends or our association.
"There is a lot of money in the game now. You have to have a more holistic approach and realise there is more to life than just playing cricket."The champions I know are not only good at what they do they are also great people. That is very important."
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