'An absolute disgrace. It’s been pathetic': Furious Warne lambasts CA over Langer treatment, hints at Sandpaper coverup

Updated on Feb 07, 2022 08:00 PM IST

Warne's harsh criticism came two days after Langer resigned as the head coach of the Australian men's cricket team.

Shane Warne; Justin Langer
Shane Warne; Justin Langer

Australian batting legend Shane Warne on Monday lashed out at Cricket Australia for their "pathetic" and "disgraceful" handling of the Justin Langer resignation matter while hinting at a coverup of the 2018 Sandpaper case.

Speaking on Fox Cricket’s Follow-On podcast, Warne's harsh criticism came two days after Langer resigned as the head coach of the Australian men's cricket team. He was offered a contract expansion of just six months, after guiding Australia to T20 World Cup win and Ashes victory at home, which he denied.

“To treat the head coach the way they have, it’s an absolute disgrace what they’ve done,” Warne said. “All of us who have played with Justin, we are not coming out because he’s our friend or a great cricketer or a Hall of Famer. We are coming out because it’s the treatment of the coach. Forget it’s Justin Langer. It’s just the treatment of Cricket Australia and the way they have handled the coach of the Australian cricket team. It’s been pathetic.”

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Warne has been the only former cricketer to voice his opinion on Cricket Australia's treatment towards Langer. Earlier, over the last two days, Mitchell Johnson and Matthew Hayden expressed their disappointment over socia media while Adam Gilchrist spoke in the matter in an SEN interview on Monday.

The legendary leg-spinner further said that despite recent accomplishments, Australia are yet not among the "greats" of the game, but with Langer's departure from the role, the team have set themselves several years back.

“We were finally starting to see the integrity coming back to the Australian cricket,” he said.

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“It’s not a great Australian cricket team we are talking about here. But all that Justin Langer put in over three or four years, we are just starting to see the rewards for his hard work. His brutalness, his intensity and his kick up the backside to the players. You know why? They needed it!

“If they can start doing this for another five or six years. Not to lose at home, beat India away and beat England away. Then we might start talking about this great Australian cricket team. But they aren’t at the moment.

“If they didn’t like his style and he had lost the dressing room, well, they better start performing. They have to perform.”

A furious Warne then questioned CA's coverup on the "truth" about the Sandpaper Gate incident, which remains the lowest point in Australian cricket history.

"We still don't know the truth about what actually happened at Sandpapergate. Does Cricket Australia know the truth? Do they? Do the same people know the truth about Sandpapergate? Are they hiding anything? We've seen that the bowling cartel, as they call themselves, or 'Winx' and 'GOAT' and all these unbelievable nicknames they have for themselves. These guys wrote a letter saying they had no knowledge of whatever went on," he said.

In March 2018, during Australia's Test match against South Africa in Cape Town, Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera using a sandpaper on the ball. Then vice-captain David Warner and captain Steve Smith was also handed international ban for their involvement in the scandal.

"That might be correct. But if it's not and they've done that, there are all sorts of whispers or rumours that we all have heard. And one day the truth will come out. "Does Cricket Australia know the truth? Is it the truth that we've heard? Why should Smith and Warner be the only two? Who knows. But the truth will come out," he added.

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