Ashes loss good for cricket - Langer

Australian opener Justin Langer believes that England is a more than capable team despite not enjoying great success since its Ashes win last year.

Since the victory, England has lost to Pakistan 0-2 in a Test series and drew with India 1-1, but is 1-0 up in its series against Sri Lanka at home with one match remaining.

Langer, who has been missing from the Australian line-up since he was hit by a Makhaya Ntini thunderbolt on the South African tour, is hopeful of taking part in a series he describes as big as the soccer World Cup to Australian cricket fans, and is wary of England's top-shelf players.

"We are taking the Ashes seriously. It's going to be a massive event, as big as the football World Cup is in your part of the world, and I'd love to be a part of it," Langer told BBC Sport.

"People are saying England have stuttered a little, but they have got players like Freddie Flintoff, Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Strauss, Marcus Trescothick and a very good bowling attack.

"They are going to be very tough to beat."

The 35-year-old West Australian is working hard on his game already in anticipation of the Ashes series which starts in Brisbane in November, and is looking forward to a training camp with his teammates in August.

"Most of the core of the team who lost last time will be together [again] and will be doing everything we can to be ready and to give England as hard a time as possible, as hard as England gave us last summer," Langer said.

"Since the day we returned from England there was a lot of soul-searching. It hurt losing the Ashes.

But the gutsy left-handed batsman admits that the upset loss to England was not only good for the state of cricket in the world, but also in Australia.

"We were successful for so long. But for us to lose to England showed other countries that the competition was still on.

"I think losing the Ashes was great for world cricket, English cricket and, to a degree, Australian cricket."

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