Langer shoots down Maxwell Test 'whispers'

Glenn Maxwell Trevor Hohns

Glenn Maxwell Trevor Hohns

Langer, arguably showing the strain of a taxing month in which he and his team had received widespread criticism on a range of issues, asked the reporter twice "are you certain that's what happened?" regarding the county directive. Langer claimed he had "no knowledge" about Maxwell being advised by Cricket Australia to skip the county cricket in 2018 on assurances that he will be selected for Australia A tour of India.

Justin Langer has teed off at "careless whispers" about Australian cricket, tensely firing back at suggestions Glenn Maxwell has been mistreated or misadvised.

During the media conference, Langer had addressed Maxwell's omission from the Test squad for Sri Lanka and the "false" reports about the right-hander's personality as a contributing factor to his selection chances, reinforcing the message Hohns delivered.

"So, I've taken it out of their hands and signed with a County early so at least I can give myself some sort of red-ball cricket and some sort of longer-form experience, because for a player who's played as long as I have I certainly haven't played the amount of first-class cricket as everyone else has".

Langer then went on to apologise a final time before taking another question that was cut off part of the way through, saying: "Sorry, what are we talking about?" "I don't like getting grumpy but there are so many stories that go around about so much stuff. The truth is a attractive thing". However a spokesperson denied that the planning email, a common part of discussions between CA and the players, was tantamount to a guarantee of selection. Marnus Labuschagne was the surprise choice to bat No. 3 in the final Test against India while Matt Renshaw, Joe Burns and Will Pucovski have been called up for the series against Sri Lanka.

When Langer was quizzed by a reporter about the sequence of events and reports regarding the alleged advice given to Maxwell, the Australia boss reacted angrily.

"I've got zero knowledge of that ... careless whispers, eh?"

"It's not true. All the conjecture about it - that's all part of the noise".

"There's a big thought from my side that I'm not getting enough first-class cricket in Australia and that's probably shown by this summer".

"I'm not sure what the instruction was or who it came from but players are free to make up their own decisions on what they go and play", Hohns said on Wednesday.

"Glenn is crystal clear from me and the selectors, what he needs to do to get back in the Test team", he said. I'm only going to play two Shield games for the whole season.