Former Australian opener Justin Langer will take the reins of the Australia team for their tour of the West Indies, but has asserted that this is not a trial for permanent takeover.
Langer is currently the head coach of Western Australia, a position he has described as ideal as he seeks to spend time with his family. Langer told cricket.com.au: “Personally, with my kids at home, I'm finally back in Western Australia and I've got probably the dream job.”
Langer has intimated in the past that he may take the head coach job at some point in the next 10 years, after Darren Lehmann has stepped down, but has gone to great lengths to assure the media and the public that his caretaker role in the triangular series in the Caribbean is not a test or a trial of any kind.
He added: "I think the natural progression would be to one day coach the Australian cricket team, or certainly that would be an aspiration."
"I'm helping Darren out, I'm going to make sure the ship keeps running nice and smoothly in his absence and I think that's the respect I can give him, it's the respect I would expect if someone else was doing (for me) what I'm doing for him.”
Langer has stressed that life at the helm of Australia is a tough one, with an exhausting travel schedule, and he is simply allowing Lehmann some time off.
Langer has insisted he will maintain Lehmann’s vision, and philosophy during this series, saying: "Boof's doing a great job, I really admire how he's going about his business and if I can help him for a few weeks then I'm happy to do that."
As a successful coach in the WA cricket set-up, Langer’s services may be sought after further afield, but the fiercely patriotic former opening batsman has indicated that the only national team job he would be interested in is the Australian job, and that is only a long term goal at this point.
He said of his experience on the coaching staff of England in the 2015 Ashes: "It just didn't feel right."
Langer is set to arrive in the Caribbean with the bulk of his squad shortly, and will await the arrival of those members of the squad still on IPL duty. Australia take on the West Indies and South Africa in June before Lehmann returns to lead the tour of Sri Lanka later in the year.