David Warner and Steve Smith still have a future in Justin Langer’s team.
David Warner and Steve Smith still have a future in Justin Langer’s team.

Langer: what banned trio have to do to get back in team

NEW Australian men's cricket coach Justin Langer says the door is still open for David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft to return to national duty if they are willing to meet the standards of the team.

Warner (12 months), Smith (12 months) and Bancroft (nine months) were all handed lengthy suspensions for their roles in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal, but Langer insisted on Thursday that there was still a future in which all three men could once again don the baggy green.

"(If) they want to keep getting better and they want to meet the standards of the Australian cricket team, then of course they'll be welcomed back," Langer said, "Everyone has got a place if they want to meet those standards and expectations."

Langer, who will start his four-year tenure on May 22, said he was surprised by what happened in Cape Town, having spent time with all three players in the past.

"When I think about Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith, besides Mike Hussey, they love the game more than anyone I know.

"They are cricket tragics and they're great kids. That's why it's such a surprise they made the mistake that they did.

"Davey Warner's the same, he's a really good young bloke. He made a mistake."

Justin Langer was announced as Australia coach on Thursday.
Justin Langer was announced as Australia coach on Thursday.

The former Test opener said he was disappointed with the cracks that emerged in the team in South Africa. He has made camaraderie within the dressing room a priority.

"If you've got that camaraderie, it's like the glue that keeps everything together, particularly when you're under the pressure," he said.

"I would say without being in it, that camaraderie wasn't as tight as it needed to be because when we were under pressure the glue separated a bit.

"I don't like to seeing that in a cricket team. I like them to be tight. I like us all to be tight, not just the players but the support staff, Cricket Australia.

"It can't be about the individuals, it has to be about the team and if we promote that elite mateship then we'll be okay."

Langer's four-year tenure will be headlined by two Ashes series, a World Cup and a World Twenty20 tournament.


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