Langer replaces Flower as Lucknow Super Giants coach

LUCKNOW (AFP): Former Australia coach Justin Langer has been appointed to replace Zimbabwe’s ex-England coach Andy Flower at the helm of the Indian Premier League’s Lucknow Super Giants, the team announced.

The Lucknow franchise only made their debut in the world’s most valuable cricket tournament two years ago and have finished in the top four in both their seasons.

But Flower’s two-year contract was not renewed, with the team tweeting a picture of him and the message: “Today it’s farewell, but it’ll never be goodbye because you’ll always be one of our own. Thank you for everything!”

That was quickly followed with the news of Langer’s appointment, along with a photo of him in front of one of the oldest tea shops in the heart of the northern city.

Langer said he was “thrilled” at the opportunity.

“I love the game of cricket. I love the passion of the Indian game of cricket,” Langer said in a video posted by the team on Friday.

He coached the Australian men’s national team for almost four years, restoring its morale after the 2018 “Sandpaper-gate” scandal in South Africa.

But he also came under mounting pressure over his management style and shifting moods, and resigned last year after failing to secure the support of key players and bitter conversations with Cricket Australia.

“I am looking forward to being a part of a team that can make a real difference in the IPL,” he added. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”