Did Justin Langer say it was “humbling” to be appointed Australia coach?

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Justin Langer (via YouTube)

Of course he did. This is not a bet anyone would have taken. Justin Langer is exactly the kind of guy who would say something like “humbling” when given a new job.

He did however come up with an even better quote – and by “even better” we of course mean “even more ridiculous”. Honestly, it’s one of the all-time great Australian sporting quotes. We’re really looking forward to sharing it with you.

But first, let’s deal with the ‘humbling’ thing.

“It is humbling to be appointed as coach of the Australian men’s cricket team.”

‘Humbling’ means making you feel unimportant or insignificant. Justin Langer clearly feels that coach of the Australian men’s cricket team is a very trivial, worthless thing to be.

Perhaps this is because unlike the players the coach doesn’t get to wear the hat. Justin Langer really loves that hat.

Another thing that happened when Justin Langer was appointed coach of the Australian men’s cricket team was that he reflected on the Australia teams he was a part of back in the day. What is about to follow isn’t actually the even more ridiculous quote. It is another one. We’re still building up to the even more ridiculous quote.

He said:

“It was so competitive to get into the team, but when you walked through the door for that Baggy Green, it was like brotherhood, it was like a nightclub, it was awesome.”

Which was it, Justin Langer? Which of those three things – brotherhood, a nightclub and awesome – was it actually like? Because it can’t have been all three.

We do not have a brother, so we are willing to accept that brotherhood could conceivably also be awesome. We have however been to a nightclub and we are quite confident that a nightclub is not awesome.

Nightclubs are harrowing places of dancing where it is impossible to hold a conversation, where you are left at the mercy of your own thoughts. Your own thoughts will be stuff like “why is everyone enjoying this?” and “how can I enjoy this?” and “why can’t I stop thinking about how I’m not enjoying this?” and “why do I suddenly feel really nauseous?” and “how long am I trapped here feeling really nauseous?”

That is not awesome. Justin Langer seems very confused about what walking through the door for that Baggy Green was like.

Langer also went on to claim that he is “a bit of a hippy”. He said:

“My daughter gave me a shave two days ago because one month every year I like to grow a beard and not wear shoes.”

Again, this is not the even more ridiculous quote. This is just another average Justin Langer quote. This is him telling you that his ideas about alternative lifestyles hinge on facial hair and footwear.

We like the idea that Justin Langer would do these two things for exactly one month in every calendar year. We hope it coincides with the Ashes.

But enough of all this. You’ve waited long enough. Let’s get to the even more ridiculous quote.

“It was ANZAC Day a few weeks ago and one thing about Australia is mateship is really important. Elite mateship within the Australian cricket team is going to be a key value.”

Please let that sink in. Justin Langer has just coined the term ‘elite mateship’ and rather than being embarrassed about it, he’s instead doubled down and made it a central tenet of his whole philosophy.

Needless to say, we are absolutely delighted with Justin Langer’s appointment as coach of the Australian men’s cricket team.


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  1. Where does Elite Mateship fit into the scale of mateship? Clearly above Work Mates but presumably below Best Mates. Or is he suggesting that it is perhaps above even that?

    1. Considering he used it with reference to ANZAC day, elite mateship is perhaps the mateship enjoyed by soldiers in a war. Which kind of defeats the whole “we’re trying to change our image” approach

  2. This site does build-ups really well. So much potential for disappointment that doesn’t actually happen. Claims that something will be the greatest post of all time? Is the greatest post of all time. Claims that the quote will be even more ridiculous than one bollocking on about the Baggy Green? Delivers in fine form. Kudos, yer maj.

    Also: bloody hell.

    1. The way you worded that bit about the Greatest Post of All Time inevitably made us imagine it being said by Nick Knight.

      This has made us quite happy.

  3. Way to kick Australian cricket while they are down!
    This article is stooping to a low that is on par with the Australian cricket team sledging.
    And to drag Justin Langer in to it when he is obviously going to try and change the very perception that you are mocking.
    You could not have shown less class in this article.

    1. I agree with Dylan, I expect class from class from this website. Not mocking, particularly of Australians, particularly of Justin Langer.

      And especially when he clearly feels so humbled.

  4. It’s a crummy – maybe too Aussie, maybe too management-speak – word for it but I think there is a real phenomenon there. A couple of guys who know they are from the top draw, that together they are basically the best in the country at whatever they do, maybe even best in the world. All kinds of team or group activities can produce feelings of camaraderie and bonding, whether that’s because you’re an absolutely terrible amateur sports team getting thrashed every other week or because you and your co-workers in the beleaguered department have got way too used to being crapped on from on high. To be honest that is pretty much the only kind of group bonding I have ever experienced or am ever likely to.

    But a team of mountaineers who are the first to conquer a mountain, the string section of the greatest orchestra in the world, the footballers who win the World Cup, the boffins who blew up their country’s first Bomb, the bandmates playing to 60,000 people, the dozen guys who founded a web startup, did the gruelling days and nights, then sold the thing on to a global megacorp for a cool billion dollars… Are they simply experiencing “team spirit” and “being really good at something” and “Success!” all at the same time, but essentially as a stew of independent feelings? Or are they experiencing a qualitatively different kind of camaraderie to someone like me who only gets that feeling in combination with personal mediocrity and group underachievement and under-the-cosh-ness? Based on a non-representative sample of autobiographies of Manhattan Project scientists and Aussies raving about coloured headwear, I think there might be some aspect of teamship that such mere mortals as myself are unable to access or experience.

  5. “The matiest of mates who ever mated”
    which is it now? The commentary team or the cricket team?

  6. 1. I also have no brothers. I am, however a brother myself. what class of brotherhood is that? Semi-? Unrequited? Or is brotherhood not graded in the same way as mateship.
    2. Why is it mateship not matehood?
    3. You are so right about night clubs. I shudder at the memory.

  7. Ten years ago was my one and only posh nightclub experience. I was dreading it so much I took a book with me, although I must admit I ended up enjoying myself.

    It is around the middle of the following short break write up – I have enlarged the relevant photographs for the delectation of King Cricket readers.


    Daisy is much, much better at pole dancing now. I am no better at any sort of dancing.

  8. Is Langer also saying that brotherhood is like being in a nightclub? Because I don’t think it is.

    1. There’s a bar in Leeds (and one in Manchester) called The Brotherhood, maybe Langer went in there after an Ashes test, saw a lot of Australian cricketers in there having a good time, thought it was a nightclub, and has been widely misinterpreted.

  9. Am I missing something but wasn’t it this concept of “elite mateship” which led to this culture in the first place?

    “Hey, Cameron. Fashion some sandpaper out of yellow sticky tape and tamper with the ball will you?”

    “No way Davey!”

    “But we’re elite mates”

    “Oh. OK then.”

    The very use of the word “elite” suggests they exist on some higher plane and are therefore above reproach (custodians of the line etc). I’m not seeing Langer as part of the solution.

    1. This seems like the most reasonable explanation. Now I’m going to re-read his speech with this in mind and see if I can understaOH GOD

  10. Holy jesus! It seems “mateship” that is actually in use in Australia. Not only that, it seems mateship is the national virtue of Australia.

    Now what is Elite mateship?

    Is it a mateship amongst elites (this implie a clique and makes Elite Mateship an oxymoron)

    or does it suggest an elite kind of Mateship amongst all mateships? What could that be?
    I would imagine it is something like a holy passion !? Or is it like mateship amongst members of a night club?

  11. Yes indeed, quite recently the term “mateship” only narrowly avoided finding its way into the preamble of the Australian constitution. I’m not making this up:


    Elite mateship can only possibly mean “mateship amongst elite sportsmen” in this context. I say “sportsmen” rather than “sportsfolk” as Langer clearly has the blokish definition of mateship in mind.

    To me, warrior behaviour analogies don’t resonate as messages about fair play and decency.

    But those messages aren’t aimed at me, are they? They are aimed at elite folk like David Warner and Steve Smith, whose very eliteness presumably puts their moral compasses on a higher astral plane than mine.

    So I’m sure it will all work out just fine.

    1. That Wikipedia article has the line “Not to be confused with mating.” Well fuck you Wikipedia – that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

      “… one thing about Australia is mating is really important. Elite mating within the Australian cricket team is going to be a key value.”

      I’m happy with that as an interpretation. Happier than I was, at least.

  12. I thought this Aiden Markram guy was meant to be good?

    Maybe he just can’t handle the step-up in quality to CC Div 2?

  13. KC, was trying to work out whats happened to Hameed – he isn’t playing in this current round of CC matches. Dropped or injured?

  14. Anyone got a link to a summary of up and coming players and potential England new caps? Feel a bit out of it.

    1. I really am absolutely done with them now, the useless shower of bastards.

      Time to fold, or become a minor county. There’s no point pretending otherwise any more.

      1. Would you ask them to remain in the County Championship until the end of June please?

        I have booked three days in Leicester for the match against Middlesex and (with all due respect to Leicester) I really only want to be there for the cricket…

        …also, Middlesex desperately need the points. We too have had a poor start to the season…

        …just not quite so poor.

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