“I’m playing cricket for Australia, I’ve got plenty of cash … but there’s this deep hole. I can’t work it out.”
When Australian cricketer Justin Langer returned from a tough tour of Sri Lanka in 1998, he was “as close to depression” as ever. Seeking support, Langer approached the team chaplain Andrew Vallance.
“I’m meant to be living the dream,” Langer told Vallance. “I’m playing cricket for Australia. I drive a fancy car. I’ve got a beautiful family. I’ve got plenty of cash but there’s this deep hole. I can’t work it out.” Even while following a healthy pursuit, Langer felt hopeless and in need of support.
Thankfully, Chaplain Vallance was there to lend an ear. He listened carefully to Langer’s struggles, pastorally caring for him and encouraging him holistically. Most importantly, Vallance encouraged Langer to reconnect with his faith in order to find strength – something that Langer now credits for the career-best form he reached at the Hobart Test that year.
Now, as the coach of Australia’s men’s cricket team, Langer is committed to providing his players with the same support he received at that low moment of his life. “We’re not just going to encourage great cricketers,” says Langer. “We’re going to encourage great people.”