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Langer leaves lasting legacy at Scorchers

03 May 2018

The effect on WA Cricket of Australia's new head coach most telling through his unrivalled Big Bash success

Australia's gain is Perth Scorchers' loss after Cricket Australia announced today Justin Langer will succeed Darren Lehmann as the national men's team head coach.

Langer's elevation to the Australia role brings to an end a prolific stint in Perth, where he guided the Scorchers to three KFC Big Bash Leagues titles in BBL|03, BBL|04 and BBL|06.

Beginning on May 22, Langer will begin a four-year stint as Australia coach across all formats while the search for his replacement in the west begins.

The 47-year-old was instilled as Western Australia and Scorchers coach in November 2012 and in his first season in charge, Perth reached the final of the BBL.

There was no fairytale that season as Langer's side was beaten by Brisbane Heat, who were then coached by the man he is replacing in the green and gold, Lehmann.

The Scorchers and Langer went one better a year later with victory in the final over Hobart Hurricanes at The Furnace, before making it back-to-back titles a year later when they beat Sydney Sixers in an absolute thriller in Canberra.

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Perth solidified themselves as the premier team in the BBL's short history with a third championship in four years when they thrashed the Sixers by nine wickets on home soil.

A huge part of Langer's legacy in the west is how he nurtured a talented crop of youngsters into international cricketers.

Mitchell Marsh, Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright and Cameron Bancroft each made their Test debut while Langer was at the helm, while Nathan Coulter-Nile, Andrew Tye, Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Joel Paris and Ashton Turner have represented Australia in limited-overs cricket under his tutelage. And though BBL|07 Player of the Tournament D'Arcy Short represented Australia's T20 side as a result of his feats with the Hurricanes, the WA-contracted player is another to have benefited greatly from the 47-year-old's expertise and candidness.

Langer has also got the best out of veteran players: Shaun Marsh, who played a starring role in Australia's Ashes victory last summer; Adam Voges, who capped off a record-breaking 2014-15 JLT Sheffield Season with a century Test debut in the Caribbean before enjoying a 20-Test career in the Baggy Green; and Michael Klinger, who made his long overdue international debut in 2017 after plundering runs for years on the domestic circuit.

Now the search for Langer's successor begins, and whoever replaces the diminutive 105-Test veteran has big shoes to fill. 

"It is humbling to be appointed as coach of the Australian Men's Cricket Team," Langer said today.

"I would like to thank the Western Australian Cricket Association and the Perth Scorchers for their support over the past six seasons, and for giving me the opportunity to lead and work with two great teams and many exceptional people.

"I'd like to especially thank my family for being with me on this journey and for supporting me in accepting this position.

"I am very excited about the scope I now have to coach the country that supported me so much in my cricketing career."

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WACA CEO Christina Matthews paid tribute to Langer today.

"I'm sure I speak for the whole WA cricket family when I say that we are as thrilled as we are proud following this announcement," Matthews said.

"Justin has been an invaluable contributor to WA cricket since his appointment in 2012 and his leadership and guidance off the field has been as important as the results he and his support team have produced on it.

"When Justin was announced as coach of WA, he spoke of reviving the strong bond that existed within the WA cricket family; of making every contributor at every level of the game in this state, take pride in the role they were playing to grow and develop the sport. I firmly believe that Justin – and many others, also – has achieved that goal.

"We have a lot of good people involved in WA cricket who have helped the community stand taller and we're proud of what Justin has helped us achieve over the past six years.

"Justin is unashamedly passionate about his home state, but if there's anything that comes close to the level of enjoyment he takes in seeing WA succeed, it's seeing Australia succeed and I have no doubt he will devote all his energy and talent to helping achieve that.

"We again congratulate Justin and wish him all the best – the entire WA cricket family that he helped make stronger than ever is right behind him."

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Perth Scorchers BBL

Justin Langer