Hayden and Langer are offering their ‘insights’ on commentary during the World Test Championship final

Posted by
< 1 minute read

If there was one thing that was highly awful about Test cricket in the early 2000s, it was having to endure Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer opening the batting for Australia. Then they retired and how we rejoiced. Only now Test cricket is even worse because they’re still around and now they’re audible.

Matthew Hayden’s idiosyncratic verbal stylings have been documented on this website many a time. Hayden routinely starts one sentence only to finish an entirely different one, while his ability to add superfluous words to otherwise quite straightforward utterances is quite simply unparalleled.

Justin Langer, meanwhile, has an inexplicable attachment to the word ‘elite’ that is surpassed only by his inexpliable attachment to Matthew Hayden.

The World Test Championship final currently has both these men on commentary. (It also has another member of The Platinum Club, Ricky Ponting – who proves that it is actually entirely possible to be competent at both batting and speaking.)

Our commentary highlight so far came early and from Langer. Analysing Usman Khawaja’s 10-ball duck, he questioned the opener’s decision to walk out in a long-sleeved sweater.

Sleeves restrict your movement, you see. No physical feat has ever been achieved in sleeves.

If you’d come to this game after hearing it was a showcase for Test cricket, you could be forgiven for thinking that, in this respect at least, the format would be better left unshowcased.

Get King Cricket emails and enjoy the site from the safety of your inbox.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. ‘Alright Mr. Sharma, is R. Ashwin playing today?’

    Get it!? It’s a pun on ‘our Ashwin’ and ‘R Ashwin’. And also he’s not playing today.

  2. I’ve got the sound turned off.

    It’s been said before, but that all-beating Aussie team of the 90s had in it some of the world’s greatest ever cricketers, players who at the very least would be in with a shout of making a best-ever XI, and some who would be a shoo-in.

    And then it had some good cricketers, properly international standard, but who would be barely remembered if they’d have been playing with Ian Salisbury and Craig White in place of Warne and McGrath.

    This is the thing that neither of these loons wants to face up to. Instead they invent all sorts of other reasons why they are the greatest of cricketers – execution of the baggy green skillset culture for Hayden, elite jumper-choosing for Langer.

    I wonder if they’ll mate. Imagine the offspring of Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden. Imagine how elite it would be, and how wonderfully it processed its skillsets. It would be a baggy green behemoth, elitely singing the team victory song, elitely squatting, and elitely calling former teammates cowards.

    1. Can we call the offspring ‘Elite Little’? Please? It’d be Eli for short. Eli could be a recurring feature here on this website if only KC would allow it.

  3. It should also be noted that Langer and Khawaja “have history”. Not sure he’s going to be particularly unbiased against a number of the guys who essentially got him sacked.

    1. Oh yeah. If it it’s not clear, this 100% smacked of someone actively looking (unjustifiably hard) for reasons to criticise someone. Don’t think Khawaja was even dismissed during his commentary stint.

  4. I’m listening to the WTC Final on TMS. Simon Mann’s approach seems to be to talk as much as possible so that Langer doesn’t get a word in. I’m here for it.

      1. “Silence is the most powerful weapon.”

        Jesus Christ. Bring back Michael Vaughan.

  5. I knew that if I prayed long enough to the God of Arrant Nonsense, the time would come when Haydos would reappear on these hallowed pages like a hungry bear emerging from the woods, keen to talk to some local salmon about their “processes.”

    I noticed Langer enjoying the Australian wickets a bit, too—one can certainly sense a touch of elite resentment behind those elite eyebrows.

  6. I have not been in a position to engage with this match yet (at least not at the watch and listen to live commentary level) and might not get to watch or listen to much of it at all, especially if it is decided in three-and-a-bit sessions.

    From a scorecard reading, though, they seem to be managing very few overs per day given the perfect weather. Fewer than 80 yesterday even taking account of 3 for the innings change. I raise this point only because of the beefs on this site when England played Ireland last week.

    Are they stopping the action periodically to allow for elite pontification processes over the tannoy? That would really be something.

      1. Pretty irresponsible to get behind a keyboard without having had a caffeinated drink.

      2. I couldn’t agree more, KC. Deploying my skillsets with an inappropriate sequencing of the processes was simply NOT elite commenting.

        I’ll be here on the virtual-naughty-step with my head hanging in shame if anyone wants me…not that anyone is likely to want me for a while after THAT contre-elite performance earlier this morning.

  7. If there is one thing I’ve learned for my time in marshlarts is respect. Elite wanker.

Comments are closed.