"He mustn't have had the full backing of the board. Me knowing Justin the way that I do, he was very keen to continue in the role, as he should have been after what's been the best coaching period of his international career having just won the T20I World Cup and then the 4-0 result in the Ashes," he added.

The contract extension offered to Justin was the result of a thorough review process that evaluated many factors including future requirements of the team and the upcoming extensive schedule of fixtures. The extension was approved by the CA Board and was put to Justin last night. It included the opportunity to defend the T20I World Cup title in Australia at the end of this year.

"It seems like a very strange time for a coach to be departing. Reading the tea leaves it sounds like a few - and as he [Langer] says to me a small group in the playing group and a couple of other staff around the team - haven't entirely loved the way he has gone about it," said Ponting.

"That's been enough to force a man who has put his life and heart and soul into Australian cricket and done a sensational job at turning around the culture and the way the Australian team has been looked at in the last few years to push him out of the job," he added.

Langer was appointed as the men's team coach in 2018 after the Sandpaper Gate which saw David Warner, Steve Smith serving out one-year bans. Under Langer, Australia managed to win the T20I World Cup 2021 and then the Ashes.

"Justin is a great mate of mine and I know how passionate he is about the Australian coaching job and that he wanted to continue on and be the best coach and have the best cricket team in the world," Ponting said.

"I think Pat (Cummins) also has been put in a difficult situation as captain, if it's not just him and it is other players coming to him and letting him know that maybe they think Justin is not the right man then I think that puts Pat in a difficult position as well," the former Aussie skipper added.

"If he had got on the front foot and endorsed Justin they would not have been in a position to move him on. I am close to Justin, we are like brothers but I have not got too heavily involved in this, as much as giving him a pat on the back and put an arm around him here and there, there was no way I could change the way this was heading. What's happened today I've felt was coming for quite a while, even looking back before the T20I World Cup there was a lot of speculation there," said Ponting.