Prolific batsman Michael Clarke retired from the game of cricket as one of the most controversial Aussie captains of all time. On one hand, he was riding high after the 2015 World Cup in home soil and on the other, he was under heavy scrutiny following the loss in Ashes. Now in his latest book Ashes Diary, 2015, Clarke gives the critics some of their own medicine.
He is especially blunt and merciless when it comes to former Australian coach John Buchanan. Under Buchanan’s captaincy not only Australia became world champions but they also won a record 16 tests in a row. Buchanan had earlier said, “Players like Steve Waugh, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting and others really tried to make the Baggy Green culture something special but I could sense it was under threat and under Michael’s captaincy. I can sense it has disappeared a bit and that disappointed me. I can remember guys like Hayden and (Justin) Langer sitting him down in a corner and trying to get him to understand what we were trying to achieve.
There were times when I felt Michael did not understand or did not want to understand.”
In retaliation Clarke wrote, ““I don’t think John knows a thing about the Baggy Green, having never worn one. He’s still living off the fact that he coached a team that anyone, even my dog Jerry, could have coached to world domination,”
Regarding Andrew Symonds’s criticism of his captaincy style, Clarke said, ““This is a guy who turned up drunk to play for his country. It’s pretty rich for him to be throwing rocks.”
Towards the end of Clarke’s captaincy, the media was uncommonly harsh on him and accused him of creating rift in the dressing room. Quite expectedly, Clarke did not let them go unscathed, ““Anyone hearing this commentary — and I’ve had to wear this kind of talk for a very long time — would think I’ve been the only problem with Australian cricket for the past 13 years. That’s a tough rap for someone who has led this team to a World Cup victory at home, won a Test series against the best team in the world, South Africa, in South Africa. Won an Ashes 5-0, and in Tests has taken Australia from fifth to number one in the world.”
“Any time we’ve lost, it’s apparently been because of me — my personal life, my attitude, the way I’ve captained. Apparently I’ve been holding us back all along, and now that I’m leaving everyone will get along famously and the Australian team will never lose another game.”
There have been no comments from Andrew, John or the media but this drama might drag along for a few for acts.