Langer will play on despite 'hangover' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Langer will play on despite 'hangover'

06/04/2006 07:05:59 PM Comments (0)

Test opener Justin Langer has rubbished any idea his career could be under threat on medical grounds, although he admitted he was still "struggling" after being concussed against South Africa.

Langer arrived back in Perth after the dramas in Johannesburg, where he was severely concussed by the one ball he faced, and then prepared to bat against doctor's and captain's orders as Australia chased its victory target and a 3-0 series cleansweep.

After being reunited with his wife Sue and new baby daughter Grace, Langer said he was still suffering a "massive hangover" from the Makhaya Ntini ball that felled him at the Wanderers Ground.

And despite reports another concussion could spell the end of the West Australian's turbulent Test career, Langer said he cannot wait to return to the fray in time for next summer's mammoth Ashes clash.

"There are definitely no worries about the future, not at all," Langer said.

"This was a freak incident, and that was thing about batting in the second innings - the only danger was getting reconcussed in that short period of time.

"(I) still feel like I have got a massive hangover ... I have not felt that well since I got the blow.

"Having said that, the last day of the Test match was one of the great days of my Test career, so that softened the blow a bit, but physically I am struggling."

The 35-year-old recounted how, with Australia needing nine runs to win and he was the only batsman left, he made up his mind to return to the crease despite advice another concussion could cause serious, permanent damage.

Langer said despite the dangers - and the fact captain Ricky Ponting had said he would rather declare the innings closed and lose the Test than allow the opener to bat - the decision-making process had cleared his head for the first time in days.

"From what the neurosurgeon told me ... I was actually scared of what they were telling me, that a concussion straight after the event could cause some serious damage," Langer said.

"At start of play on final day, it was non-negotiable, they said `You cannot bat',"

"At about nine runs to go, then the negotiation changed. In my mind I was definitely going to bat - it was an amazing little period because for the first time in about two days I had some clarity."

Langer said he has accepted Cricket Australia's decision to pull him out of the two-Test Bangladesh tour, although he regretted he was not able to bat again sooner.

"At the time I was bitterly disappointed at the decision, but looking at it now I respect where they are coming from," Langer said.

"I have read a report from the neurosurgeon and he recommended there was no way I would be available to play the first Test.

"The only downside of not playing Bangladesh is that I can't get back on the horse."

Langer said the Ashes contest, beginning in Brisbane on November 23, was a huge incentive to return.

He was also motivated by the prospect of he and Matthew Hayden breaking the aggregate runs record for an opening partnership, currently held by West Indies' Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes.

"The Ashes is a massive carrot for me, as is the record partnership with Haydos - I think we need 1,100 runs to go past Greenidge and Haynes," Langer said.

"Whether they happen who knows, but they are certainly motivators from now until next summer."

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