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Australia aim to be world’s most professional team: Langer

SYDNEY, May 26: Australia is striving to be the most professional and honest team in world cricket, coach Justin Langer said Saturday as the squad prepares for its first international tour following a damaging ball-tampering scandal.

The former opener recently took the reins during a time of crisis after the 12-month suspensions of ex-captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner over the scandal which also saw previous coach Darren Lehmann quit.
Speaking to reporters in Brisbane as the team readies for a five-match one-day international series in England next month, Langer said they were aspiring to a culture of world-best professionalism, honesty and humility.
“It doesn’t matter how much money you have got or how many games or how many runs. If you’re not a good bloke — that’s what people remember,” Langer said he recently told the group.

“Our mateship is really important. Sticking together is really important — that’s all of us in the Australian cricket team.”

The England tour is Australia’s first since the tampering incident during the disastrous South Africa visit in April.
The new head coach said he expected to “cop plenty” from the English crowds and media but his team would look to block it out and concentrate on cricket.

He has vowed to win back the respect of the Australian public but cautioned it would take time and be measured by player behaviour.

“If we behave well on and off the field, then hopefully we will earn some respect back and some trust back,” he said.
“The Australian public obviously loves the Australian cricket team and there is more to it than just being good cricketers.”

The former opener said the team would not be “mimicking” the styles of other international teams as they try to improve their one-day record.

“We should be so proud in Australia of what we have achieved in our past. We have got our way of doing things and we shouldn’t shy away from that,” he said.

Australia will kick off the England ODI series on June 13 at the Oval in London. The tour will also include a one-off Twenty20 match. IANS

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Ankur Kalita

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