The last time Justin Langer was under this much career-defining pressure, he peeled off a life-changing century against England at the Oval.

More than two decades on from August 2001, Langer is forced to leave his fate in the hands of Cricket Australia’s board today as they weigh up his future.

A fighter throughout his playing days, Langer made a career out of pushing back the use-by date so often put upon him by those outside of the squad.

Hit PLAY to listen to Ryan Daniels’ opinion over CA’s decision today…

Never was that clearer than in the Hobart Test against Pakistan in 1999, or the fifth Test of the Ashes two years later.

Both matches were meant to be Langer’s last in the Baggy Green, before both ended in centuries and helped him finish his career as a genuine great.

The greatest challenge for Langer will come on Friday, when six months of speculation over his role as coach comes to a head. This time the fight will be out of his control.

Cricket Australia directors will hook up for a pre-scheduled board meeting, before high performance manager Ben Oliver presents to them the direction of the team.

Uncertainty over Langer’s position has hung over both he and the team since senior players met with CEO Nick Hockley over the coach’s intense nature last August.

Those off-field matters will be taken into account in Friday’s meeting, not just the Ashes and T20 World Cup wins.

By the end of the meeting, there is every chance Langer’s fate could be decided.

He could have a contract renewal to his liking before his current one expires at the end of June, or he could be told the board will look in another direction.

Langer, backed by several big-name former teammates, has never made any secret about his desire to coach on.

“I’ve never thought differently to be honest,” he said before the Boxing Day Test.

“I’ve been consistent with what I’ve said for the last four years. I love my job.”

Players meanwhile have been less direct, avoiding most speculation on the matter with Pat Cummins adamant on Thursday their public commentary would not help.

Both Cummins and white-ball captain Aaron Finch have however spoken to Hockley and Oliver about Langer’s future and the direction of the team.

That in itself has prompted questions over player power, a point strong rejected by players’ union boss Todd Greenberg.

“I’ve heard that and I don’t subscribe to it at all,” Greenberg said on Thursday, while still maintaining deserved respect.

“The players should have a strong voice and should be consulted.

“We want a seat at the table … but ultimately we’re part of a bigger system. We understand that.

“The players don’t make decisions on a coach’s contract … but we have the ability to provide our opinion and feedback.”