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Langer to coach Australia in 2016

Source - Cricket Australia

Darren Lehmann's stated succession plan to see his former Test teammate Justin Langer installed as Australia’s next coach will move a step closer to fruition when Langer takes charge of the touring team to the Caribbean next year.

Lehmann confirmed today that he plans to enjoy his first extended break since taking on the role of national coach in 2013 by sitting out the ODI tri-series featuring the West Indies and South Africa that will be played in in June.

Langer, currently coaching the Alcohol. Think Again Warriors in the Sheffield Shield and Matador Cup as well as the Perth Scorchers in the KFC Big Bash League, will fill the job at international level for the first time in what is widely seen as a precursor to his eventual appointment as Lehmann’s replacement.

Prior to his appointment in Perth, Langer worked as a specialist batting coach with the Australia team, a career change that came soon after his retirement after 105 Tests and more than 7,500 runs for Australia, predominantly as an opening batsman.

And in October last year, Lehmann stated during a radio interview that -

I believe he (Langer) will be the next coach of Australia

However, Lehmann said he has no plans to step away from the job in the foreseeable future because he and his team have a number of unmet aspirations still to pursue.

Chief among those are the impending World T20 tournament , Test series in Sri Lanka and India within the next 15 months and the World Cup defence in the UK in 2019, the same summer that Australia will attempt to win the Ashes abroad for the first time since 2001.

"I haven’t got an end date in mind, I’d like to go for a while yet," Lehmann, 45, said when asked if the reason for him taking a brief sabbatical amid a crammed touring schedule was designed to help prolong his own tenure as coach. "There’s no immediate plans at all (to hand over the reins) but it just gives me a longer break. "He (Langer) will do a great job and the blokes are really comfortable about that, we’ve spoken about it and everything is fine.

"We’ve got a really good system at the moment, we seem to be playing well. "Now it’s a case of developing other coaches under you all the time and making sure they’ve got opportunities as well. "I think his (Langer’s) record speaks for itself as a coach. 

The decision for Lehmann to voluntarily stand aside means Langer will be granted "free rein" to bring his own ideas and philosophies to the job for the duration of the tri-series in the Caribbean, to which Australia plans to take a squad as close to full strength as is feasible.

Although it is unlikely that the 45-year-old former opener will be elevated to also fill Lehmann’s role on the four-man national selection panel (alongside chair Rod Marsh, Mark Waugh and Trevor Hohns) that finalises the squad for that tour.

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