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Last Updated: Monday, 1 January 2007, 02:21 GMT
Langer to quit after Sydney Test
Langer celebrates after the third Ashes Test in Perth
Justin Lee Langer
Born: 21 November 1970
Teams: Australia, Middlesex, Somerset, Western Australia
Tests: 104
7,650 runs, 23x100, 30x50
ODIs: 8
First-class games: 298
24,063 runs, 74x100, 92x50
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 2001
Batsman Justin Langer has become the latest Australian to announce his retirement from Test cricket.

The fifth Ashes Test, which starts at 2330 GMT, will now be the last for Langer, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.

Langer made his debut against the West Indies in 1993 and has scored 7,650 runs in 104 matches at a 45.26 average.

"There hasn't been a waking moment for the last 20 years where I haven't thought about playing Test cricket, so this is a tough moment," he said.

"The reason it's so hard is that I don't want to let it go. I don't want to stop playing for Australia. It's emotional, I feel sad about it but I know in my heart it's the right thing to do.

"I retire from this game having played with some of the greatest players of all time. It's been a privilege to play with Shane and Glenn and Adam Gilchrist, the greatest wicket-keeper of all time, Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting, who is the greatest batsman this country has produced after Bradman."

Unlike fellow Western Australian Damien Martyn, who announced his retirement from all cricket following the second Test against England, Langer will continue to play at state level.

He will also be in England during 2007 after accepting an offer to return to Somerset to play county cricket, having hit a career best 342 for the club last summer.

Justin Langer has walked as an equal with great players and that will leave memories that last even longer than his impressive playing statistics

Cricket Australia's James Sutherland

Langer, who has also written books about cricket and been a columnist for this website for the last six years, was primarily a middle order batsman during the first phase of his Test career but reinvented himself as an opener during the 2001 tour to England.

Short of form during the tour, he had to wait until the final Test at The Oval to make his first appearance of the series but marked the occasion with an innings of 102.

Since then, he and Hayden have been inseparable at the top of the order, becoming one of the greatest opening pairs of the modern era.

They have shared 14 century partnerships, a total exceeded only by Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes for West Indies (16) and England's Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe (15).

Langer made his highest Test score of 250 against England at Melbourne in December 2002 and began the current series with an innings of 100 not out at Brisbane, his 23rd century for Australia.

Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer
Hayden and Langer average 51.62 as an opening partnership

It was a typically determined and brave effort by a player who had suffered a serious concussion when he was struck on the head by a ball from South Africa's Makhaya Ntini in his previous Test in April.

"To me, it's not just a game. It's been the vehicle that I've learned how to handle success, how to handle criticism, how to handle failure, how to fight back from adversity.

"I've learned about mateship, I've learned about leadership - it's never been just a game for me," the 36-year-old father of four added.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland paid tribute to Langer's achievements since first wearing the famous baggy green cap.

"Justin recently became the first West Australian and only the 10th Australian to play 100 Tests for Australia.

606: DEBATE
AusCelt

"That of itself is a rare accomplishment and is a measure of his achievements as a cricketer, and is a tribute to his ability to fight his way back to the top after setbacks early in his international career.

"But the pride and dignity with which he represented his country, and the calm authority he has exercised within a team of great, once-in-a-lifetime champions, is something cricket fans will remember most," he commented.

Sutherland urged Australian supporters to ensure a "rousing farewell" for Langer, Warne and McGrath in Sydney, where Australia will attempt to complete the first 5-0 Ashes whitewash since 1920-21.

"This outstanding trio will have played 374 Tests between them by the end of this game.

"It will be a long while before we see Australian cricketers of this ilk playing together again," he added.

SEE ALSO
Langer in his own words
01 Jan 07 |  Australia
Somerset reveal Langer captaincy
01 Jan 07 |  Somerset
McGrath to retire after World Cup
23 Dec 06 |  The Ashes
Legend Warne to quit after Ashes
21 Dec 06 |  The Ashes
Martyn announces shock retirement
08 Dec 06 |  Australia
Buchanan to quit after World Cup
28 Aug 06 |  Cricket


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