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Rob Key clarifies Justin Langer ‘numpty’ comments

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Sky Sports Cricket pundit Rob Key has clarified his comments about Australia head coach Justin Langer, saying he didn’t call him “a numpty”.

Key was speaking in conversation with fellow expert Nasser Hussain on a video on the Sky Sports Cricket Twitter account to sum up the fourth day’s play of a virtual Test played between two World XIs picked by the pair. The former Kent captain jokingly discussed some of the backlash to some of his picks, in particular his snub of Ravichandran Ashwin because of the India off-spinner’s Mankad dismissal of Jos Buttler in the 2019 IPL.

“Speaking of stirring things up, you’ve had some experience with this, I’ve seen that the Indian public, some of them, I’m not putting every single one of the Indian Twitter following in one bracket, they’re very annoyed at me for not picking Ashwin,” he said. “I keep seeing lots of tweets saying ‘Who is Rob Key? Ashwin doesn’t care.’ I don’t care either. They’re hammering me about it.”

Key also referenced an article on wisden.com which discussed his comments about Langer. The piece was headlined ‘Rob Key: Langer’s a numpty, Steve Smith is the reason for Australia’s Ashes dominance’, with the ex-England opener stressing that he only said the elite mateship-proponent only “behaved like a numpty”.

“Also, Wisden are saying I called Langer a numpty,” Key said. “I didn’t call him a numpty, I said he behaved like a numpty on that The Test documentary when he kicked over that bin. This Test has got me in more trouble than I’ve ever been in before.”

Hussain had a simple piece of advice for Key: “The best way to quash all these things is to stop saying it time after time after time.”

The state of the fantasy game itself gave Key more reason to smile. His side go into the final day needing six wickets to seal victory, with Hussain’s team still requiring 237 more runs to win. Sachin Tendulkar went to stumps unbeaten on 31* and it remains to be seen if the Little Master can finally get on the Lord’s honours board.

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