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  1. #1
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    Australian Cricket Imploding

    It has been no secret the Australia camp has been enduring turbulence on and off the field, Michael Clarke’s side having lurched from one low to another in the Test series so far with contentious selections adding to the paucity of talent to challenge India on turning pitches.
    But the

    team management dropped a bombshell on Monday after announcing that vice-captain Shane Watson and three other players have been axed from the Mohali Test starting on Thursday, of all reasons, for not submitting self-assessment reports suggesting a way forward for the team in distress.



    A furious Watson left the team in a full-blown crisis and threw his own career into jeopardy, when he abandoned the tour, storming out of the team hotel after slamming the decision.

    The three were no pushovers. James Pattinson is the leading paceman, Mitchell Johnson is the most experienced and batsman Usman Khawaja was in the running to replace the misfiring top order batsman Phil Hughes. But the punishment for Watson suggested serious differences within the squad bordering on rebellion, and that his testy relationship with Clarke had completely broken down.

    Announcement
    Coach Mickey Arthur made the media announcement, leaving everyone stunned. The South African didn’t mince words.

    “We’ve given this group, which is obviously new, every opportunity to conform and to create the culture and attitude we want from the Australian team and suffice to say these players did not meet the standards,” Arthur said. After the second Test, the players were given five days to make presentations, in person or in writing. There were reports that Pattinson and Khawaja simply forgot!

    The decision was taken by Arthur, team manager Gavin Dovey and skipper Michael Clarke to enforce team discipline. But the picture became clear when Watson quickly left the training field while the others took part in the drills that lasted almost three hours.

    Tense relationship
    Watson has had a tense relationship with Clarke, his refusal to bowl due to a weak calf and keenness to return as opener, adding to the problem. Questionable team selections have added to the stinging defeats in Chennai and Hyderabad. In Chennai, Nathan Lyon did not get the support of a second spinner. And when Maxwell was included in Hyderabad, Lyon was axed. The off-spinner then questioned Arthur for saying he had technical issues. Hughes’ personal coach, Neil D’Costa, had said the Aussie preparations for the tour had left the batsman unprepared for the spin test.

    But Clarke subsequently made it clear that several incidents had brought things to a head. The skipper claimed some players had not followed team requirements like fitness assessments taking advantage of the break between Tests, which smacked of indiscipline and a lack of commitment.

    Arthur described it as tough but said the management would not rescind the decision. He said the decision was justified even if it leaves the tour hanging in balance.

    “There is no way they can come back even if they apologise. We should take the series out of the equation. It’s about the team and about Australian cricket. It sends a message that if you want to play for Australia you can’t cut corners.”

    Coach Mickey Arthur plays hardball
    "This is a line in the sand. We pride ourselves on attitude. We have given the players a huge amount of latitude to get culture and attitude right. We believe that those behaviours are not consistent with what we want to do with this team, how we want to take this team to be the best in the world. I believe those four players unfortunately did not meet my requirements so those four players are not available for selection for this Test match.

    ‘It’s extremely tough to sit here and make that decision. I wish it wasn’t the vice captain, I wish it wasn’t Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson. They are leaders within the team and are very professional with the way they go about their business. But this was a moment where we had to make a statement irrespective of who the players were. This has been the toughest decision that myself, manager Gavin Dovey and captain Michael Clarke have ever had to make.

    "I wanted three points from each of them technically, mentally and team as to how we were going to get back over."

    Furious Watson mulls Test future
    The Australia team management’s decision to drop four players from the touring party on disciplinary grounds boomeranged with star player Shane Watson openly revolting and quitting the tour. Hours after he was axed from the team for the third Test for ignoring a team management order, Watson checked out of the team hotel and left for Sydney.

    Speaking to the media on the issue, Watson said he was shattered. “Any time you’re suspended for a Test unless you do something unbelievably wrong, and obviously everyone knows what those rules are - I think it is very harsh,” said Watson.

    The upset Australia vice-captain is also contemplating quitting Test cricket altogether, even though, he felt he was at his peak.

    “I’m at a stage where I’m sort of weighing up my future and what I want to do with my cricket in general to be honest. I do love playing, there is no doubt about that but...

    “I’m going to spend the next few weeks with my family and just weigh up my options of just exactly what direction I want to go,” he said.

    The player said he was anyway going to miss the fourth Test to be home for the birth of his first child and had thought of communicating the decision to the team management on Monday. “I was about to communicate that to the leadership group but they obviously beat me to it by telling me I wasn’t selected for this Test,” said Watson.

    “Also overnight, things have changed and Lee (wife Lee Furlong) wasn’t going to tell me things had changed because she knew how much it meant to me to be able to play. (The baby) was due in a couple of weeks but it’s looking like things have sped up.”

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    NZ Cricket has been imploding for years. Once again bloody Aussies are copying us!

  3. #3
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    A team in complete shambles with the selectors not having a clue what they are doing and that was evident during the last series in Australia.

    Different teams playing different tests will never build team cohesion.

  4. #4
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    Lol. Watson is no loss to the test side in any event.
    But really, this is schoolboy stuff.

  5. #5
    I am in Jail

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    A SA coach telling Aussies what to do. It's a joke and Clarke is a terrible manager of people, despite being a great batsman.

    Katich was dropped with a better avg than others.

    Pattinson is the leading quick and gets dropped because of this assignment nonsense.

    Since when did Warne, Lillee and Mcgrath hand in assignments?

    New age nonsense

  6. #6
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    It is after all a team sport not an individual effort. I think it tells who is thinking of the team and who is thinking of himself when he says he was going to return soon anyway but hadn;t bothered telling them.

  7. #7
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    Bit of Seth Effrican rigour being brought to bear here. Maybe it will work, nothing else has so far on tour. Then again, India and the subcontinent (?) has always been difficult, no?

    Katich must be pissing himself larfing.

  8. #8
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    I am rather looking forward to being in the MCG this year - should be fun.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pseudolus
    I am rather looking forward to being in the MCG this year - should be fun.
    You Poms seem to have fun whether you win or get your arse whipped 5 tests to zilch.

    Do you travel with the Barmy Army?

  10. #10
    Knows fok all
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    I'll be there in the summer.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy
    5 tests to zilch.
    Long time ago now LT, still keep the faith hey

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    ^^Nice one! 70 squid though, presumably for the entire Test?

  13. #13
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    If only.

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Jaysus, that's for the day!? Sheesh, I was going to make a crack about it being good value at 14 quid per day unless the Aussies capitulated sooner.

  15. #15
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Necron99
    But really, this is schoolboy stuff.
    Prima donna, schoolboys on steroids.

  16. #16
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    Call me old skool, but innit the job of the coaching staff to tell the players how to improve their game ?

  17. #17
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Cricket: Clarke blasts suspended players
    6:12 AM Tuesday Mar 12, 2013


    Australian all-rounder Shane Watson was one of the four players suspended along with James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson. Photo / Getty Images

    Australia captain Michael Clarke has blasted four suspended players for disrespecting head coach Mickey Arthur over the controversial homework-gate affair.

    Arthur announced on Monday that vice-captain Shane Watson, Test quick James Pattinson and squad members Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson had been ruled out of contention for Thursday's third Test against India in Mohali.

    Australia trail two-nil in the four-match contest and Arthur had asked each member of the squad to make a presentation to him, either in person or in written form, about how the team could fight their way back into the series.

    The four players failed to meet a deadline of Saturday night to make their presentations.

    "It took a lot of thinking because you had to look at your game and where you thought you could improve, what you had learnt and what you could do to help this team level this series," Clarke said.

    "The four players to not do it, not only does it let the team down, it also shows a lack of respect for the head coach and in the Australian cricket team that is unacceptable."

    While former players including ex-skipper Allan Border have ridiculed the suspensions as schoolboy stuff, Clarke says it hasn't just been one incident that has led himself, Arthur and team manager Gavin Dovey to take dramatic action.

    "There have been a number of issues on this tour where I don't think we have been hitting our standards," Clarke said.

    "It's no coincidence we have lost the first two Test matches quite convincingly so we have to turn that around.

    "We can't accept mediocrity here.

    "This is the Australian cricket team."

    Clarke echoed Arthur's sentiments that a ranking of third in Test cricket wasn't good enough and only No.1 would suffice.

    "On this tour our performances have been unacceptable and there has been some stuff off the field for the standards an Australian cricket team needs to present itself to achieve what we are trying to achieve," Clarke said.

    "It's a tough decision but at the end of the day if people are not hitting those standards there are going to be consequences."

    Watson has also been juggling family commitments and headed back to Sydney on Monday night for the birth of his first child. There's confusion over whether he'll return for the fourth Test in Delhi on March 22.

    The 31-year-old says he's shattered by his suspension and feels harshly treated.

    "I am going to spend the next few weeks with my family and weigh up my options as to exactly which direction I want to go," Watson said.

    "I am at a stage where I have to weigh up my future with what I want to do with my cricket in general."

    - AAP

  18. #18
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    I think the coach has got it spot on. To play at the highest level requires commitment, professionalism and dedication. If some players aren't prepared to step it up to meet the requirements, then they should be passed over for other players who do have the necessary attitude.

    England cricket followed by the rugby have had to have similar revolutions in order to progress.

  19. #19
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    I think the coach is a wanker that has not proved himself at the highest level.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveboy
    Long time ago now LT, still keep the faith hey
    Yep 18 years straight of Ashes triumphs is a long time ago.

    Mate, cricket is a funny game, a favourable toss, some poor umpiring decisions, a dropped catch and things can turn in a blink of an eye.

    That's what I love about test cricket.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveboy View Post
    I'll be there in the summer.


    No concessions for seniors then Dave?


    Blimey, for 70 smackers on Day 1 i'd expect a full set of tailored whites plus a team autographed willow thrown in.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pseudolus
    I am rather looking forward to being in the MCG this year - should be fun.
    You Poms seem to have fun whether you win or get your arse whipped 5 tests to zilch.

    Do you travel with the Barmy Army?
    I don't travel with them but do endeavour to be near them at the ground. At the MCG is standing area is perfect, and last time I was there, is was the infamous 5 - 0 tour but we enjoyed ourselves anyway.
    Originally Posted by bsnub "No wonder I drive a tesla"

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Lick View Post

    Blimey, for 70 smackers on Day 1 i'd expect a full set of tailored whites plus a team autographed willow thrown in.
    I cant remember how much it was in Aus last time I went, and at the MCG the kind old duffer at the smoking area out the back let me in without a ticket (which was nice). Seventy Sobs though - I don't think I would bother if it was me paying personally for it. Luckily this year is being paid for by a client Hoorahhh! Aussie client. Hmmmm .

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly
    Australian Cricket Imploding
    Australia split wide open - Hindustan Times

    Manners and common courtesy .............................

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Lick View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by daveboy View Post
    I'll be there in the summer.


    No concessions for seniors then Dave?


    Blimey, for 70 smackers on Day 1 i'd expect a full set of tailored whites plus a team autographed willow thrown in.
    I'm only 45 I consider myself at my prime.

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