The only definition of ‘elite honesty’ that makes any sort of sense whatsoever

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Justin Langer (via YouTube)

First, some conventional honesty – albeit it’s honesty in drawing attention to some of our own dishonesty. What follows is a genuine quote from Justin Langer, but we’ve deliberately shorn it of context.

You could argue that our way of using this quote misrepresents what Langer was actually trying (and failing) to convey. We would counter that by saying that this is the only way that the concept of ‘elite honesty’ makes any sort of sense whatsoever.

Langer’s definition of ‘elite honesty’ is as follows.

“You can lie to everyone else, but you can’t lie to yourself.”

That makes sense, doesn’t it? That makes sense as a philosophy that an Australian cricketer might actually live by. You can lie to everyone – absolutely everyone – but not to yourself. That is the line you butt up against but do not cross – lying to yourself.

We can also bring you an update on Australian cricket’s elite sanctimony. In the comments section of an earlier piece, Danny pointed out to us that Langer has previously written that his ‘vision’ for Australian cricket team will be achieved through, “elite professionalism, elite honesty, elite learning, elite mateship and elite humility.”

‘Elite mateship’ we’ve already covered (we referred to it as “one of the all-time great Australian sporting quotes” at the time, which if nothing else is a good indication of how much guff is being spouted of late). The one that really deserves a little attention however is ‘elite humility’.

Let’s break it down. Humility is the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance. Langer wants his team to display this at an elite level.

This basically amounts to competitive humility. They’re trying to win at humility. Assuming they make it to the final of the Humility Olympics, we all know who they’ll be facing.


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  1. Shane Warne has recently shown that his elite mateship with Steve Waugh was clearly a key to Australia’s success in the 90s, and his elite humility and honesty is also plainly evident. I think Langer is really on to something here, definitely nothing to do with elite bowling.

    1. Waugh’s response to Warne – “I’m responding by not responding because I don’t think it needs a response” – was an elite response.

  2. Getting a bit political here for my tastes – I don’t read material that acknowledges the existence of he USA

  3. I recall attending one of those business seminars back in the 90s, in which the mot du jour was “quality”. Everything had to be done with “quality”, which meant neither its dictionary definition (attribute) or its common definition (effectively high quality). No, it meant something else.

    The trick, though, wasn’t to teach us this. It was to suggest that this new, entirely made up definition was more sophisticated. If you used the word in this new way you proved that you had transcended ordinary language, and were now operating on a higher plane. The language was being used as a divider, separating the world into corporate business types, who could expect promotions and golf outings, and plebs.

    That’s what’s happening here. None of this elite stuff makes any sense; it is utterly pointless trying to understand it in terms of the words and their meanings. What Langer is doing is dividing the world into those capable of playing cricket for Australia, and plebs. Only the former group will get what elite mateship is, and they will prove that they belong in this group simply by this understanding. Like with “quality”, it is a tautology, incapable of communicating information outside of its own circularity.

    American corporations adopted this approach when they had run out of innovation and ideas, and it failed to stop them all going bust. What it did do was convince them that they were all world leaders, right up to the moment they all went bust. I fear for Australian cricket. It is on the edge of a precipice.

    1. Spectacular achievement from Australia to have a cultural review; fail to discern that the culture was pretty much what is described above; and then exaggerate that culture.

  4. Looks like a default England starting XI featuring three wicketkeepers is about to become de rigeur.

    Summer of Glove
    What’s Glove got to do with it?
    I would do anything for glove

    As they shall henceforth be known.

    1. Imagine if Burns keeps (ha) his spot and Pope or Bairstow comes back into the middle order. That’s four keepers!

      …they’ll drop Foakes, won’t they. Bah.

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