More praise from former coach for all conquering WA Cricket side
WA became the first state to win all available domestic titles for two consecutive summers with a nine wicket win over Victoria in the Sheffield Shield final last weekend.
Cricket legend Justin Langer has branded the current West Australian group as the state’s greatest ever.
Langer told Sports Breakfast the achievement would go down in history.
“I remember John Buchanan once saying you judge a champion on their longevity, and you think about it, this group, it’s been a decade now. There’s been five Big Bash titles, there’s been [five] one day titles, now we’ve got two back-to-back Sheffield Shield titles, and the core group of players is all the same,” Langer said.
“It’s been a mighty era of cricket for Western Australia, they’re certainly leading the way in Australian cricket, and there’s a lot of people involved in that.
“We all should be very, very proud of that.”
Langer took over as WA coach in 2012 with the team at a low ebb, dealing with the cultural fallout of poor behaviour at the Champions League T20 tournament in South Africa and being rooted to the bottom of the Shield ladder.
He said he was proud to have played a part in the team’s current success.
“What happens generally is when new leaders come in, they’re usually change agents. They often come in when the organisation or team’s at the top, so it was a good time to take it over, you’ve got lots of rope from the board,” Langer said.
“Because I was so passionate about West Australian cricket, I just couldn’t wait to get out of bed every day, I couldn’t wait to get out of bed and get down to the WACA. It was my dream job really, so it was a lot of fun.
“We had to make some tough calls early, we had to change some expectations and some standards early, and then I guess we’re all reaping the rewards. We’ve got these young kids that I saw come in at 20 or 18 or 19 and now they’re men, they’re parents, and they’re playing great cricket.”
Langer paid tribute to retired legend Shaun Marsh, who pulled stumps on a 22 year playing career with WA in the lead-up to the Shield final.
“I started ten years ago, Shaun was playing Second XI for WA, he was making a few dumb decisions every now and then, and [he’s developed] from that to holding the Sheffield Shield as the captain of Western Australia,” he said.
“His legacy is just his example. The way he turned his cricket around, he played Test cricket, he played international cricket with success.
“He’s also one of the nicest people, one of the best people I’ve ever met in the game of cricket, and that’s internationally. He’s a fantastic bloke, fantastic cricketer, great dad.”