Now Justin Langer announces retirement!

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Sydney, Jan 1 (UNI) Australia will lose another war veteran in Justin Langer after the Ashes series with the prolific opener announcing his retirement after the ongoing Ashes series against England.

Langer, 36, has become the fourth player to bid adieu after his more celebrated teammates Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath also deciding to call it a day in the last Ashes Test starting tomorrow.

Cricket Australia today described Justin Langer as a player who had epitomised what it meant to wear the baggy green cap.

''Justin recently became the first West Australian and only the 10th Australian to play 100 Tests for Australia,'' said Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland.

''That 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.

''Justin Langer has walked as an equal with great players and that will leave memories that last even longer than his impressive playing statistics,'' Mr Sutherland added.

Those statistics include 7650 Test runs in 104 tests at 45.27 including 23 centuries going into the Sydney Test and one of the best ever opening partnership for Australia with fellow left-hander Matthew Hayden.

Mr Sutherland said Sydney's cricket fans would have the rare opportunity of farewelling three great champions in Langer, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.

''This outstanding trio will have played 374 Tests between them by the end of this game and I call on everybody in Sydney who can get there to give them the rousing farewell they so richly deserve,'' he said.

''Do whatever you can to get there as it will be a long while before we see Australian cricketers of this ilk playing together again.'' Langer's teammate in Western Australia state squad Damien Martyn was the first to hang his shoes as he unexpectedly announced his retirement.


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