Like with Paul Collingwood, we admire that Langer wrung out every ounce of his talent in order to be a very successful test match cricketer. It's difficult not to admire someone who works that hard and allies supreme determination and good hard yakka to produce results that are greater than the sum of its parts. What Mark Ramprakash and Graeme Hick amongst others would have given to have had the mental strength and work ethic of a Langer.
But whilst we admire Langer's achievements as a batsman - his 5654 runs in partnership with Matthew Hayden (definitely not a Reverse Sweep hero as we posted at the weekend - see Zeroes: Matthew Hayden), his average of 45 in 105 tests and the fact he is the record Australian first class run scorer - it is not this that qualifies him for hero status.
No, in a time when most books or diaries by active cricketers say absolutely nothing, Langer's regular submissions to the BBC's websitewere honest and provided a fascinating insight into what it was to be part of one of the most successful teams in cricket history. Especially during the 2005 Ashes, Langer's diary entries described how the series unfurled and how a supremely confident Australian side were rattled and ultimately beaten by a resurgent England side. Elsewhere he tackled some of the major issues facing cricket head-on and explained exactly what he thought. As the written words were exactly how Langer spoke, we would also guess that he actually wrote the column, which is rare.
We didn't have a problem with the infamous dossier that emerged during the 2009 Ashes series. For a start, Langer's observations seemed pretty accurate and did anyone really expect that a patriotic Australian like Langer was not going to pass on any advice that might be helpful to his former team-mates?
In any case, Langer was a loyal servent to county cricket first to Middlesex and then as an astute leader on and off the field at Somerset. When he took the reins, Somerset were a struggling Division 2 side. When he left they were firmly established as one of the top sides in the country and even experienced a Champions League jolly in India. Their near-success this season is down to the legacy that Langer left and when James Hildreth and Jos Buttler eventually play for England, the influence of Langer will very much be there.
Langer had his flaws and some of his words about the camaraderie in the Australian team and his worship of Steve Waugh were whimsical to say the least. But for honesty, not being afraid to have something to say, hard work and for being an antidote to Matthew Hayden, Langer is a Reverse Sweep hero.