Langer posts intriguing LinkedIn message as Agar comes to coach’s defence

Ashton Agar has thrown his support behind Justin Langer after the coach posted a puzzling message on social media about staying true to himself at a time when players have told him to change his ways.

The post on LinkedIn has left players and sources close to the team perplexed, with some construing it as a jab at players who have grown weary of his abrasive and intense management style.

Langer is currently in quarantine in the United Arab Emirates with the Australian team ahead of the men’s Twenty20 World Cup. It is the first time he has been in camp with the team since he and senior players held an emergency meeting in August over his coaching methods, an issue first reported by the Herald and The Age in January.

Langer quoted, though not entirely verbatim, a piece by Lebanese-Canadian activist, feminist and poet Najwa Zebian titled “A Taste of Your Own Medicine” stressing the importance of being who you are and not changing to appease others.

“A wise man once said: Don’t give them a taste of your own medicine. If they lied, let their medicine be honesty,” he wrote.

“If they played with your emotions, let your medicine be maturity. If they broke you, let your medicine heal you. If they made you cry, let your medicine make them smile. These remedies of yours may take years to work, but they work. And they last.

Justin Langer has posted a message on LinkedIn which has left some perplexed.Credit:Getty Images

“So be patient. Stay true to yourself. And remember this: it is better for people to value you for who you are, not who you pretend to be. Who you are lasts a lifetime. Who you pretend to be changes like the change of seasons.

“Don’t be afraid to be yourself, even if it means removing yourself from lives you want to be in. You are, no doubt, worthy of being valued for who you are. So be who you are.

“The wise man says: BE YOURSELF. YOU ARE UNIQUE and YOU ARE SPECIAL. Be happy, be healthy, be calm, be strong and BE YOURSELF.”

While many not familiar with Langer’s methods will find his latest post bizarre, he often shares quotes and proverbs he comes across as a source of motivation for his team on WhatsApp and other forums, though the practice has grated some.

The theme of this message may not appear out of the norm for a coach, but it will raise questions over Langer’s commitment to change a style that has brought him much success throughout his playing and coaching career but is now wearing thin among many of his charges.

Agar, who has credited Langer with helping him through mental health struggles, sympathised with the coach over the criticism he had received publicly.

“He’s got strong values and morals as a person and he and he sticks to them unwaveringly,” Agar said. “Knowing him over 10 years now a lot has changed, and I respect him a lot for that.

“But I guess in terms of all the criticism, and everything that he’s copped, you know, to still be here, to listen to the feedback, to be dragged through the media, while you’re in quarantine, all of these different things, I think if that happened to you or me we would be absolutely shattered, but speaking to him recently, he’s doing really well.

“And I think everyone respects that he has listened, and he’s doing whatever he can to suit the needs of the team, so you can’t help but respect that, and we’ll back him in 100 per cent in this tournament and going forward.

“I just think we have to have a bit of understanding around how horrible that experience would have been and respect someone coming out of that and still doing their best.”

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