Justin Langer says Australia is ready to receive a hostile reception in England


New coach Justin Langer has said he is set to face a verbal roadblock on Australia’s limited-run tour of England next month.

The Australian cricket team can expect a hostile atmosphere from England players, fans and media following the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March.

Australian cricket was plunged into turmoil after captain Steve Smith, vice captain David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft conspired to illegally manhandle the ball in South Africa’s third test of the series.

All three were subsequently banned as the Aussie team were criticized worldwide by cricket fans and commentators for what they saw as arrogant and hypocritical team culture.

Smith and Warner, who emerged as the main conspirator, were given one-year bans by Cricket Australia while Bancroft was suspended for nine months.

Despite winning the first test by 118 races, Australia suffered a 3-1 defeat in a series that saw sparks fly on both sides.

Langer said he expects this to continue on the England tour, which includes five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match.

“I expect to get a lot from the crowd and the media, but it’s England,” Langer told reporters in Brisbane on Saturday during the team’s training camp. “Even when you’re winning all the time and you’re perfectly clean, you still get away with it.

“We’re going to do as much as usual. But that’s okay… it will be a good learning experience for our young guys and our experienced guys will help navigate this landscape.”

Langer, who replaced Darren Lehmann after the former coach left following the scandal, had previously said the team should regain respect in the cricket world, which could take time. He repeated it on Saturday.

“We have to aim to be number one in professionalism, number one in honesty, number one in humility,” Langer said.

“It doesn’t matter how much money, how many games, how many races you did, if you’re not a good guy, that’s what people remember.

“So if we behave well on and off the pitch, I hope we gain respect and trust.”

(With contributions from Reuters)

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