Justin Langer Talks about his Decision of Taking Retirement in 2001

Published 04/20/2020, 5:53 AM EDT
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 02: Justin Langer, coach of the Warriors looks on after the Matador BBQs One Day Cup match between Western Australia and South Australia at WACA on October 2, 2016 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)


The Australian cricket team coach Justin Langer recalled how then captain Steve Waugh changed his life for good. Langer admitted that he was planning for retirement in the middle of Ashes 2001 in the UK but one call from Steve Waugh made him drop his decision. 

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The former batsman used to bat at number 3 position and was going through a rough phase in his career. Adding to his miseries, he was dropped out of the playing XI in Ashes 2001. 

However, in the fifth test, he was called in the team by captain Steve Waugh and was asked to open the innings with Matthew Hayden. That one inning witnessed the arrival of one of the most successful opening partnerships in the history of the game. 

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While talking to ABC Justin Langer revealed, “Literally, the week before I opened for the first time with Haydos (Matthew Hayden), I told all my family I’m getting on a plane and leaving, I’m going home,” 

He further added, “I couldn’t make a run, I thought I’d failed, I’d never play for Australia again. I’d been dropped at the start of the series when I thought I was going to play. My wife had flown over because I was going to retire the week before,” 

“I was so down in the dumps … and out of nowhere, Steve Waugh rings me and says; ‘you’re going to open the batting tomorrow’”, Langer said. 

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I shouted at Adam Gilchrist: Justin Langer

In the 2006 book, ‘The Ashes Match of My Life’, Justin wrote about the lowest point of his career. He also recalled getting in a tiff with the stand-in captain Adam Gilchrist. 

Langer acknowledged, “I hit rock-bottom when I was out for two against Sussex at Hove. Walking off the ground I shouted at our stand-in captain Adam Gilchrist, ‘Look what you guys have done to me!’. I spat the dummy. I was sick of being the easy guy to drop.”

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The 49-year-old added, “That night I sat in the bar of the Grand Hotel on the Brighton seafront with Gilly and our coach John Buchanan. I don’t normally drink much. But for four hours I knocked back the Budweisers as I spewed out all the emotions that had been simmering away since I was dropped. I told them exactly how I felt. Anger had been stopping me from making runs, so I had to change.”

Steve Waugh’s decision of making Langer open the innings with Matthew Hayden did wonder to Justin’s career. He scored a blistering hundred in the fifth match which helped Australia in winning the match by one inning and series by 4-1.

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Sakshi Jain

292 articles

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