Bradman still number one - Langer
Justin Langer recognised that Sir Donald Bradman was “still in a league of his own” after overtaking a national legend to become the highest scoring Australian batsman in first-class cricket.
The 38-year-old Somerset captain went past the Don’s career total of 28,067 runs when making 107 – his 86th first-class century and 100th hundred in all competitions - in his side’s 428 for six against Worcestershire at New Road.
This was the ground where Bradman scored three double centuries – 236 in 1930, 206 in 1934 and 258 in 1938 - and then signed off with 107 on his final visit in 1948.
Langer, who has now scored 28,080 runs in an 18-year career, was given a bottle of champagne by Worcestershire to mark to his achievement in overhauling the man he regards as “the epitome of Australian cricket.”
“I’m thrilled to beat the record,” he said.
“Not so much to go past him because he is in a league of his own. But just scoring this many runs is a tribute to having played for such a long time and having worked so hard to score lots of runs.”
Langer became more aware of the impending record as the season unfolded.
“I would never have thought about this target,” he said, “but a lot of people have reminded me of it over the last couple of months. But I’ve got other milestones I’d like to tick off throughout this summer.”
When he calls time on his playing days has yet to decided.
“I still feel I’ve got some cricket left in me and I’m enjoying this project at Somerset,” he added.
“From where we were three years ago to be challenging in all First Division competitions is really good.”
Matthew Hayden, a close friend and former opening partner of Langer, paid tribute to the batsman.
He said: "It is very fitting that a man of Justin's calibre takes this honour because when you break a record of one of the greatest individuals, that being Sir Donald Bradman, it has to be by a person of quality.”