Differences between Australian cricketers and head coach Justin Langer seem to be rooted in the difference in payment of fees for the documentary series "The Test", a report in Australian media has revealed.
"The Test" is an eight-part documentary that was released in March 2020 and traces Australia's journey from the 2018 ball-tampering scandal in South Africa -- also known as Sandpapergate -- to Ashes glory in 2019. Langer was the chief protagonist, having got most screen time.
Even though Langer talked about unity and equality in the team and impressed on players the use of 'we' instead of 'me', it has emerged that he was paid AU$ (Australian dollars) 40,000 which was half of what the players received.
While Langer had cut the deal with Amazon Prime on his own, the players' deal was cut by Australian Cricketers Association, who managed to get AU$81,000 for each player irrespective of the time they spent on camera. Jack Wildermuth, who spent little time on camera, was paid as much as Steve Smith, David Warner, Tim Paine or Usman Khawaja who spent more time on screen.
Langer confirmed to Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) that he had been upset and that he should have reacted differently.
"You are absolutely correct in what you heard, and if I look back at that moment in time and with hindsight I should have reacted differently," Langer told SMH.
Cracks had emerged between Langer and players with the Aussie media reporting that the rift between the players and the coach was exacerbated by the series loss to India in 2020-21.
The players had reportedly been upset over Langer's intensity and dramatic mood swings.