This is a friendly conversation we had at the Sportress today about Michael Clarke. We’ve put lots of links it to make it like one of those “Friends” episodes where they have all the flashbacks to previous episodes.’
Please note it has lots of bad language and also poor grammar. Sorry mum.
Ben: So Michael Clarke bowled today. What a fucking idiot. The only reason he’d bowl at this stage of his recovery is to send a message to the public and selectors. He just needs to get healthy and stop dealing with all the politics
Herman: Have the selectors told him that they want him to bowl at the World Cup? That wouldn’t surprise me… They love left arm spin!
B: How rad is Ashton Agar? He probably averages more than Clarke in tests.
Dan: You’re an idiot Ben. For the record he averages 32.5 with the bat and 124 with ball
B: I only remember the 99.
D: You mean the 98……….
B: I saw Rod Marsh say Clarke would have to pass a rigorous fitness test and prove he could bowl, field, bat and run between wickets
H: So then Clarke is just following orders by bowling today.
B: Fuck that guy. Following orders would have been bowling 2 overs in the nets a couple of days before the Bangladesh game.
D: Ben we should get you to write a piece called ‘Why I hate people everyone else likes’.
H: To me the selectors have again looked like monkeys in dealing with all this bullshit injury shit.
D: No one has looked good.
Rob: It’s Watson using his mind controlling mutant powers again on the selectors and media.
D: Wait, what?
H: Well Clarke did call him a “cancer on the team”.
B: How the fuck is Watson still in the picture? It’s pretty amazing how many injuries are keeping him in contention.
R: MUTANT POWERS! ….. (awkward pause)
B: If Clarke gets through the World Cup, West Indies tour and Ashes all will be forgiven. Anything short of that and questions should be asked of both the selectors and Clarke.
H: What fucking questions? You make a decision:
a) Clarke plays and you deal with his long term injury stuff and suck it up if he gets hurt.
b) Drop him.
Instead they have taken the middle road, which is just fucking stupid.
B: Treating Clarke like Harris would be a good alternative.
H: Sort of. But with Harris there is none of the backgrounding of journos and leaked bitching about him. That stuff is the dumb shit. If the selectors don’t want him in the World Cup squad, they shouldn’t pick him in the World Cup squad. The situation at the moment is akin to them picking Harris and then complaining a lot that he might get injured. No shit, the dude doesn’t fucking have knees.
B: But the problem is with Clarke unlike Harris he has input and power over whether he plays or not.
H: You don’t know that though!
B: Not 100 per cent. But it’s strongly implied that’s what’s happening from the leaked reports that keep coming out.
H: It seems much of this stems from the first test stuff. In the first test, Clarke had a flare up of his back problem when batting. Can’t be helped, will just happen. On any other occasion he probably doesn’t play the rest of the game. He does (even though he shouldn’t have) because it’s a tribute game for his best mate who died a few weeks before hand. Then he get’s injured. I mean under any other circumstances you get really angry at the captain for doing that. But in that game, with what had just happened???
B: You can understand with that one. But it’s still an error in judgment in my opinion and his making those wrong decisions to play to often. You say Clarke might get injured any time, which is an acceptable risk. To me I expect him to know when he’s right and when he is not because the consequence of losing a player is too great. I’m sure Clarke places this sort of expectation on Harris for instance.
H: But that test is the only time where Clarke has obviously played when he shouldn’t have. It’s also the time when the selectors started backgrounding journalists about him. So I think that’s where this starts and I think Clarke deciding to out emotions before the team in that game was fair enough. Clarke is just sticking it to the man Ben.
B: Perhaps. But these leaked stories have been happening for some time now. And the implication of these reports is that it’s a pattern of behavior with Clarke that goes back to him deciding to play in Zimbabwe, maybe Pakistan and against South Africa. Good chance him bowling today is another example.
D: You need to write a piece Ben.
B: Maybe……Ben articulately explains why Clarke has a history of putting himself before the team. Hamish comes to the realisation that Ben is right and then they both eat party pies. How’s that?
H: I don’t like it.
D: I like the part about eating party pies. Who doesn’t love party pies. Everyone can agree on the party pies bit.
B: I’ve heard reports that Clarke banned party pies from the Australian dressing room and Darren Lehman is not happy.
D: You’re an idiot Ben.