Posts tagged ‘Australian cricket’

A National Headache

The international backlash to the Australian cricket team’s behaviour following their world cup victory has not been a surprise but has been embarrassing. Add to that Shane Warne’s attempted interviews post match and the tournament has ended on a very sour note for most Australian sports fans who applaud their cricketing feats but not their decorum.

This is sadly not the first time the Australian cricket team have behaved in a way that does not befit men who are representing the country. One Australian official in a diplomatic role told this writer that following a tour of India his staff spent a month going around the country mending bridges and apologising for the behaviour of the players.

What compounds the issue is at the celebration the next day in Federation Square,Melbourne the players publicly seemed to revel in the fact that they had been drinking all night. Captain Michael Clarke appeared on stage from the rooftop bar with the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy, and when asked to describe his overriding emotion answered saying, “A little hungover, I think I speak for everybody in that sense. I guarantee you the boys will continue to celebrate today. It’s the Australian way.”

Brad Haddin has since apologised for going on Triple M Breakfast radio in Sydney having been introduced by team mate Steve Smith as the most drunk of players. Haddin on website Cricket.com.au has said that he wished he hadn’t agreed to go on air. “We were celebrating a World Cup win and enjoying ourselves after a long tournament, in hindsight, we should have stayed off the radio. If I offended anyone, it was never my intention.”  The damage has been done as his comments have been spread across the world’s cricket media.

Comments about his team mates which went like this “I’ll paint a picture for you now. I’ve got a coach who’s spooning the World Cup who can’t speak,” Haddin said. “I’ve got James Faulkner who’s got his clothes off but don’t tell everyone. And I’ve got the Marsh boys, and you know I can’t even talk about the Marsh boys because you know what trouble they have. I’ve got Josh Hazlewood … he’s never been drunk in 30 years. It’s a problem. We just can’t get him drunk. He’s an absolute nightmare to drink with.” Totally irresponsible by a man who has been Vice Captain of the national team and therefore was tipped as a leader.

One has say that everyone expects a team to celebrate after winning a World title, as such titles do not come easily. However players must remember that they are held up – whether they like it or not – as ambassadors of this country a country where Cricket is the national sport a sport permuted to reflect gentlemanly behaviour and fair play; although Australia may well debate this quite vociferously. Representing your country, or club comes with responsibilities and sadly for a while now the Australian cricket team have failed to live up to those responsibilities off the field.

The question has to be asked what is CEO James Sutherland done to arrest this? Why have Cricket Australia been so quite in the past few days, while their reputation is being damaged around the globe, or as in India are they expecting others to clean up the mess. Cricket Australia should have had the players in a controlled environment post match and taken the mobile phones off the players while they were drinking, to protect both the players and the image of Cricket Australia.

Now they face a global backlash.  A strong leader would have fined those players such as Haddin, Clarke and others who wore their hangovers with pride and promoted them, they would have then given the money collected to Alcohol abuse related charities and made the players carry out some form of community service, to try and restore the damaged image.

The other thing that would be nice to see is a public apology to the nation by the team. They made many proud with their victory but have embarrassed just as many post match.

All of these things are unlikely to happen, but one thing is for sure Cricket Australia need to take control and ensure that off field behaviour improves and that others do not have to go around cleaning up after these men behaving like teenage boys.

 

 

 

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April 2, 2015 at 9:12 am Leave a comment

Pointing the Finger

We know that this issue has been raised, but Ricky Ponting stepping aside for this Test Match shows what a state of disarray Australian Cricket is in, and how the Coach, as in other sports has little control over the team.

Ponting obviously wanted to play in Melbourne, not only to try and find form, but to also save his career as Captain of Australia. For that you have to admire him, wanting and believing he could turn things around. Had he won that Test, and had the chance of not allowing England to retain the Ashes would he have played in Sydney? The chances are he probably would have.

The big question is was he really fit to play in Melbourne? Who made that call? Was it the captain himself or was it the coach Tim Neilson? Maybe it was even the selectors who made the call and advised him if you lose you will take a rest at Sydney.

Shane Warne famously derided the role of coach, and the saga of Ponting’s finger has shown that in the Australian set up the role would appear too limited in terms of authority. By comparison, Andy Flower’s influence on the English team looks to be far more involved.

This is maybe the area that Australian cricket needs to look at the relationship between Captain and Coach, and who holds the balance of power. Player power has wreaked havoc in other sports and Australian cricket needs to ensure that it does not destroy their national sport

January 4, 2011 at 10:20 am Leave a comment

Cricket a Game of Character, but not for Characters

It appears that cricket may well still be a game that builds character, but to be in the Australian team you must not be a character.

Word on the street is that Jason Krezja, the off spinner who took India apart a little over twelve months ago has been pushed back in the pecking order because some senior members of the Australian team didn’t take to him.

Then there is the matter of Stuart Clark who supposedly fell out with Australian coach Tim Neilson during the Ashes series and has resigned himself to not wearing the baggy green as long as Neilson remains coach.

Stuart Macgill or Greg Matthews can testify that being a little different can work against you. But it is interesting to hear this after Australia regularly claims they pick the best players irrespective of personalities.

January 13, 2010 at 4:40 pm Leave a comment

It’s just not Cricket

What is going on with Australian cricket?

First of all we had Ricky Ponting taking a few games off following the test series loss, which was all well and good, as it must have been extremely tiring under such immense pressure. But surely he should have stayed in England with the team? After all he is the captain.

Now we have the coach Tim Nielsen missing the last three games of the series, returning home to be with his family. Unless there is a family issue that we have not been made aware of, then he runs the risk of proving Shane Warne’s comment about a coach being the thing that drives you to the games being right.

If you were one of the players flown in for the one-day squad and with aspiration to be in the test team, how are you going to feel?  It also gives the impression that now the test series is over Australia has lost interest. It must be very demoralising for the likes of James Hopes, Adam Voges, Cameron White and Callum Ferguson who have arrived to show England, and the selectors what they are capable of.

Have you ever heard of a coach in any sport going on holiday in the middle of a season or tournament? Surely that is why they get paid the big bucks, because they have a responsibility and a job that runs almost every waking hour. It is a privilege in most cases and should never be regarded as anything else.

Michael Clarke will no doubt be none too happy either as he tries to stake his claim on the captaincy by showing what he can do in the one-day series, to stake a claim for the test captaincy when Ponting does step down.

These top athletes and coaches want the big salaries, some would say that they deserve. But with that salary comes an obligation to see the job through and take holidays later. The one thing that fans cannot stand is hearing highly paid sports stars bleating about how tough their lives are. That is why they get paid the big bucks, because you have to make sacrifices. If you don’t like it or have found it’s not what you thought, step aside and let someone else take over.

As “Not The Footy Show” has proved there are plenty of athletes out there in various sports who receive a pittance but are equally as committed and in some cases more so. Whose lives would be made that much easier with a third of the salaries our cricketers earn in a year.

Would Steve Waugh have ever left his post, or Bobby Simpson? I doubt it very much, so shape up or ship out, as there are always others who will take your place.

September 9, 2009 at 10:59 pm Leave a comment


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