Glenn Maxwell upon his return to the Australian one-day international team has apparently committed a crime so heinous, that social media is agog, all the Chris’ from Cairns to the Fred’s from Freo are lining up to decry the talented all-rounder. Today it was the turn of Melbourne Radio, with team mate Rob Quiney and former Victorian Keeper Darren Berry taking their pot shots at Maxwell.
At the outset I must declare my rather enthusiastic admiration for one of the few members of the Australian Cricket team that shares my love for the St Kilda Football Club. The best way to describe the level of my veneration is to say it rivals that of my Sportress colleague Dan’s love for Jackson Bird.
The vitriol unleashed has been first class, everything beside ‘un-Australian’ used to describe Maxwell as public and media stepped up to make their displeasure known. Some even suggesting, that ‘The Big Show’ should never pull on the canary yellow again. I would go so far as to say it’s a level of vitriol once reserved for Shane Watson, after a diabolical DRS review or scoring a hundred.
Considering the fact that the Australian public, are world renowned for not over reacting, I thought it safe to assume Maxwell’s crime was something abhorrent.
I was convinced it had to be somewhere between punching a teammate and claiming Don Bradman and Shane Warne were over-rated. When I found out the true cause of the dismay I must say, I was underwhelmed.
When asked how he felt about his current batting position in the Victorian line-up, Maxwell answered rather unsurprisingly “That’s probably a little painful at times” before adding “I think probably batting below the wicketkeeper is also a bit painful as well.”
When probed for his thoughts on the reason why he was batting below the wicket keeper, he offered the earth shattering opinion, “I think because he’s captain and he chooses the batting lineup. That’s my view on it.”
I’ve looked and looked and yet can’t see the level of outrageousness in these thoughts that others see. In the Australian side, with a different captain selecting the batting lineup, Maxwell will bat above his Victorian wicket-keeper and captain Matthew Wade. Secondly, I’d be more outraged if an aspiring Test Match batsman who has averaged over 50 for the last 3 years was happy that he batted behind a wicketkeeper who averages 38 with the stick at First Class level.
In his diatribe, Berry demanded that the Australian squad force Wade and Maxwell to sit down and clear the air for the common good. Going so far as to suggest the meeting would be ‘uncomfortable’ but necessary. While for the most part I like to listen to ‘Chuck’s’ thoughts on cricket, this is just a waste of oxygen. Anybody who knew Maxwell batted behind Wade for Victoria would know that this would have caused some angst without even needing to speak to Victoria’s greatest exponent of the reverse sweep. Wade has spent days and days watching the Vics rack up monster scores in a small room with Maxwell, you think the first he has heard of the disquiet was when he read the paper while eating his Weet-Bix?
This is the great double standard of the press and general public whereby public figures are hit whatever they do. Whenever a press conference descends into a cliché fest of ‘respect’ and ‘one week at a time’ we complain that nobody is brave enough to speak their mind, when someone speaks their mind we bash them for speaking out of school. Surely knowing Maxwell is pissed off about the situation is more interesting and beneficial than hearing him trot out some cliché lie about just being ‘happy to be in the team’.
While this story will yet again prove the adage that ‘today’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chip wrapper’, isn’t it time that we gave ‘outrage for outrage’s sake’ away? Rather than jumping on Maxwell for suggesting he should bat above Matthew Wade (he should by the way) how about we actually wait for when he kicks a puppy, drinks a Bacardi Breezer rather than a Stubby or declares he barracks for the All-Blacks, before belting the man with baseball bats.