Cricket People Not Impressed With Michael Clarke's Massive Social Media Sook
Not for the first time in his career, Michael Clarke has made it all about Michael Clarke.
Clarke, the former Australian cricket captain, has absolutely unloaded at respected journalist and broadcaster Gerard Whateley for comments he made on Melbourne sports radio station SEN.
At issue was the spirit in which Australian cricket should be played. But like so many matters involving Michael Clarke, it ended up being all about Michael Clarke.
Here's how this has played out so far.
On Tuesday, Clarke said on Macquarie Sports Radio in Sydney:
"Australian cricket, I think, needs to stop worrying about being liked and start worrying about being respected... If you try and walk away from it, we might be the most liked team in the world, we’re not going to win sh*t."
Many cricketers and others close to the game thought Clarke missed the point a little. Simon Katich -- who famously came to blows with Clarke in the dressing room was one.
Gerard Whateley was another.
"Tim Paine’s Australia isn’t trying to be the most-liked team in world cricket," Whateley said on air. "It is very specifically trying to no longer be the most despised team in world cricket, a scourge that is part of Clarke’s legacy."
Bam! Right back atcha, Clarkey!
Clarke didn't appreciate that.
Cue a Twitter manifesto which included a mini-version of the best bits of his CV with the dud bits left out -- in which respect he basically posted the equivalent of your average LinkedIn profile.
Note that Clarke spelled Gerard Whateley "Gerard Wheatley" throughout the post, which was either accidental and therefore clumsy, or deliberate and therefore childish.
Note also that Clarke pulled the old "you never played the game line", as though your career path has any relevance in a debate over the spirit of how the game is played.
Note that he got personal and called Whateley a "headline chasing coward".
But Clarke missed the point as he chased a few headlines of his own.
Remember, all of this started with Clarke saying we won't win sh*t if we worry about being liked. But as Whateley countered, the new pathway for Australian cricket set by the review after the ball-tampering scandal was never about trying to be liked.
It was about winning trust back from fans and other stakeholders. And that's exactly what Australian captain Tim Paine said today on leading cricket site ESPNCricnfo.
"No one has spoken about being liked, certainly by the opposition," Paine said.
"We've spoken about wanting to get the Australian public's trust and make sure that clearly you want the Australian public and cricket fans to like or love the Australian Test team."
So that's that. Australian cricket wants to set a new course, it wants fans to get on board, and it couldn't give a stuff about what opposition players think. These are the words from the current Australian captain.
A former Australian captain -- who once called a press conference to announce he'd be keeping a lower profile -- sees it differently, and has let the world know on Twitter.