Justin Lee Langer AM (born 21 November 1970) is an Australian former cricketer and the current coach of the Australian national team, having been appointed to the role in May 2018. A left-handed batsman, Langer is best known for his partnership with Matthew Hayden as Australia’s opening batsmen during the early and mid-2000s, considered one of the most successful ever. Representing Western Australia domestically, Langer played English county cricket for Middlesex and Somerset, and holds the record for the most runs scored at first-class level by an Australian.
Born in Perth, Western Australia, Langer excelled at cricket from an early age, representing Western Australia at under-age level, as well as the Australian under-19 cricket team. He also won a scholarship to the Australian Cricket Academy at the Australian Institute of Sport in 1990. Langer made his first-class debut for Western Australia during the 1991–92 Sheffield Shield, and, after good form at state level, made his Test debut for Australia the following season at the age of 22, during the West Indies‘ 1992–93 tour. Although maintaining his place in the side, he struggled for form, and only made sporadic appearances for Australia until his selection for Australia’s 1998–99 tour of Pakistan, in which he scored his first Test century. Establishing himself at number three in the batting order, Langer maintained this role until the 2001 Ashes series. Having been injured for the first four Tests, he replaced Michael Slater as Matthew Hayden’s opening partner for the final Test, and scored a century in Australia’s innings win. This was the first of three centuries in consecutive matches that secured Langer’s position at the top of the order.
Except for injuries, the partnership between Hayden and Langer (with Ricky Ponting moving to Langer’s previous position at number three) would persist until Langer’s retirement at the conclusion of the 2006–07 Ashes series. Their partnership included a total of 5,655 runs over a period of 113 innings, second only to the partnership between West Indians Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes. Langer’s retirement came after several injuries had restricted his batting, including a concussion sustained during Australia’s 2005–06 tour of South Africa. Despite having been one of the leading runscorers in Australia’s domestic limited-overs competition, he only played eight One Day International matches for Australia, all during a period from 1994 to 1997. After his retirement, Langer played one final season with Western Australia (having served as the state’s captain since the 2002–03 season), as well as continuing as captain of Somerset in English domestic cricket. He retired from all forms of the cricket at the end of the 2009 English cricket season. Langer was the Australian national cricket team’s batting coach and senior assistant coach from November 2009 until November 2012, when he was appointed senior coach of the Perth Scorchers and Western Australia.
In 2016, Justin Langer became interim coach for the Australian team while then coach Darren Lehmann took leave to scout for the Ashes and away matches late in 2016.
On 3 May 2018, Langer was announced as coach of the Australian national cricket team. He began a four-year term on 22 May.