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Justin Langer explains concept of 'elite honesty'

The phrasing inside Australia's dressing room at Perth Stadium certainly provoked a response

Alex Malcolm
Alex Malcolm
Justin Langer had a stand named after him at Perth Stadium  •  Getty Images

Justin Langer had a stand named after him at Perth Stadium  •  Getty Images

Just five days after the publication and significant fall-out of the Longstaff review and Cricket Australia's players' pact, Australia coach Justin Langer has explained a new and unusual catchphrase that adorns the walls of the Australian dressing room ahead of their first match on home soil since the ball-tampering saga.
Anthony Everard, Cricket Australia's executive general manager of events and leagues, tweeted a photo of the Australian dressing room at Perth's Optus Stadium on Friday which had been branded with catchphrases such as "We are Australia's Cricket Team", "make Australians proud", "patience" and "pressure".
But it was a fifth slogan "elite honesty" that caused a stir on social media and prompted an explanation from Langer on Saturday.
"It's the Australian way as I know it," Langer said.
"You look at a bloke or a lady in the face and you tell them the truth and you need to be really honest with yourself because if you're not you're kidding yourself. The man in the mirror is almost a cliche, but if you want to be successful in life you have got to be able to look yourself in the mirror.
"You can lie to everyone else, but you can't lie to yourself. So that's elite honesty to yourself. And also, the Aussie way I know it is to look a bloke in the eye, look your sister or you mum in the eyes, and tell them the truth and be happy to get some truth back, so that's elite honesty."
Langer has previously stressed the importance of "elite mateship" within the Australian dressing rooms.
While the choice of words may puzzle some, the coach is acutely aware that the team will be measured by their actions and not their words as they embark on their first home summer following one of the most tumultuous periods in Australian cricket history.
"We can put as many words as we like out there, but it's the way we play," Langer said. "It's the way we are on and off on the cricket field. And our actions will speak a lot louder than any words we write down."
The resignation of CA chairman David Peever on Thursday has added to the drama ahead of an important series against South Africa.
"It's sad isn't it," Langer said. "Everyone seems to be at each other, there's lots of criticism. But we've got such a proud history of Australian cricket.
"We've had a few hiccups along the way, in not just in the last six or 12 months, but over our history. But we should be so proud of Australian cricket.
"What we can do is we can prepare well, we can play good cricket, and be entertaining and put on a good show so Australians can start smiling a bit. One thing sport can do and that Australian cricket can do is put smiles on faces rather than everyone throwing stones and shooting guns at each other."

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne