West Indies Cricket Fans Forum

--
Font size: +
3 minutes reading time (615 words)

How Langer almost abandoned the Ashes

…Former Test opener discusses how close he came to retirement during rollercoaster Ashes tour of England in 2001

JUSTIN Langer has opened up on one of the lowest points of his playing career, detailing how he
confided in family members that he wanted to abandon Australia’s 2001 Ashes tour in order to fly
home and retire.

Langer has often referred to the campaign in England 19 years ago as a turning point of his career,
which provided valuable lessons for him as both a player and now a coach.
Having been dropped from Australia’s side on the eve of the first Test, the left-hander was handed a

shock recall for the series finale at The Oval, where he scored the first of his 16 centuries as an opener
alongside long-time batting partner, Matthew Hayden.
But having lost both form and confidence following his axing early in the campaign – he hit his lowest ebb when he yelled at
long-time teammate Adam Gilchrist after his dismissal during a tour match – Langer said he had been preparing to give up on
international cricket altogether.

Before the shock recall came at the age of 30, and his career changed forever.
“Literally, the week before I opened for the first time with Haydos (at The Oval), I told all my family I’m getting on a plane

and leaving (and) I’m going home,” the current Australia men’s team’s coach told the ABC’s One Plus One program this week.
“I couldn’t make a run, I thought I’d failed (and) 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 had averaged just 20 from 11 innings on that tour before the final Test – he says he “couldn’t have been batting
worse” – but he turned his career around with a score of 102no at The Oval, starting a run of 65 Tests as an opener

where he would average more than 48 with the bat.
And he says the wisdom he gained from that roller-coaster tour has been invaluable his coaching career.
“It was another great lesson,” he said. “If you just hang in there, you never know what’s around the corner.”
In 2006, Langer detailed the lowest point of the 2001 tour in the book The Ashes Match of My Life, describing the moment he

took out his frustration on Gilchrist, his national and state teammate.
“I hit rock-bottom when I was out for two against Sussex at Hove,” he wrote.
“I walked off the ground and shouted at our stand-in captain Adam Gilchrist, ‘Look what you guys have done to me!’. I
really spat the dummy. I was sick of being the easy guy to drop.
“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 make runs, so I had to change.

“(After reaching a century at The Oval) I remember looking up at our balcony with clenched teeth and an expression of
‘I told you so’ all over my face. I had proven to the guys who had dropped me and to myself, I could still play.”
(Cricket.com.au)

×
Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Trinidad & Tobago set to lose millions if CPL not ...
Chief selector is right but cricket a hard sell in...

Related Posts

>

Guyana Diaspora Forum

We have a large database of Guyanese worldwide.  Most of our readers are in the USA, Canada, and the UK.  Our Blog and Newsletter  would not only carry  articles and videos on Guyana, but also other articles on a wide range of subjects that may be of interest to our readers in over 200 countries, many of them non-Guyanese  We hope that you like our selections.

It is estimated that over one million Guyanese, when counting their dependents, live outside of Guyana.  This exceeds the population of Guyana, which is now about 750,000.  Many left early in the 50’s and 60’s while others went with the next wave in the 70’s and 80’s.  The latest wave left over the last 20 years. This outflow of Guyanese, therefore, covers some three generations. This outflow still continues today, where over 80 % of U.G. graduates now leave after graduating.  We hope this changes, and soon.

Guyanese, like most others, try to keep their culture and pass it on to their children and grandchildren.  The problem has been that many Guyanese have not looked back, or if they did it was only fleetingly.  This means that the younger generations and those who left at an early age know very little about Guyana since many have not visited the country.  Also, if they do get information about Guyana, it is usually negative and thus the cycle of non-interest is cultivated.

This Guyana Diaspora Online Forum , along with its monthly newsletter, aims at bringing Guyanese together to support positive news, increase travel and tourism in Guyana and, in general, foster the birth of a new Guyana, which has already begun notwithstanding the negative news that grabs the headlines.  As the editor and manager of the publication, I am committed to delivering Blog entries and Newsletters that are politically balanced, and focused on the positive ideas we wish to share and foster among Guyanese.

Go to top