Despite Michael Clarke‘s (alias “Poodle”) recent success at the crease there is still something about him that just doesn’t sit right with some crusty cricket fans. These recalcitrant fans are probably your more traditional types who can remember when beer was served in glasses at the SCG and players didn’t trot onto the hallowed turf with “She will rock you” blaring. These fans also probably believe that T20 is chewing gum for errant red cordial-fuelled numbskulls.
Despite Clarke’s apparent media makeover and his often considered post-match commentary there appears to be a darker side. Now part of the selection panel, players are obviously careful not to antagonise Poodle lest they end up in the pound.
Rumours abound over the alleged treatment by Michael Clarke of Mike Hussey‘s during “Mr Cricket’s” final days in the Australian camp. Hussey apparently believed, rightly or wrongly, that he was in line to play a couple of the one day matches post his final test match due to being one of the “best available” players. He didn’t.
There are rumoured reports that Clarke the peacemaker broached the rather strange concept with Mr Cricket of him doing a “lap of honour” before the ODI in Perth. Apparently this incredibly creative suggestion was greeted with great derision from Hussey who also gave Poodle some instructions of how the concept should be self-stored.
Now Clarkie, not one to bare grudges asked Hussey on the day before the Test ended how he wanted to celebrate once the match was over. Hussey replied, possibly channelling David Boone,that he simply wanted to pour endless golden throat-charmers down his gullet in the Australian dressing room, accompanied by his team mates and support staff.
Now from here on it gets a bit hazy but rumour suggests the following may have happened. So I’ll pose the following questions:
Did Michael Clarke or others then organise a function on Jamie Packer’s tinnie on the evening of the last day’s play?
Did someone, when they found out that a lot of the players were going to channel Boonie with Mr Cricket, make the Packer tinnie trip an official Cricket Australia function thereby “forcing” players to attend?
I understand that a couple of players stayed with Mike Hussey (possibly Siddle and Lyon) in the shed as well as friends and support staff.
There are also unsubstantiated rumours of abusive phone calls to Hussey the next morning but I don’t think anyone would do that to a national icon like Mr Cricket because if that ever appeared in any tawdry sports tome that would tarnish the ethos of Australian cricket.
I stress these are only rumours however if we look back at the fallout over the Katich/Clarke incident there is a pattern of behaviour that is emerging. It seems that Michael Clarke is coping at the crease but as a captain he is displaying all the churlishness of a child who is all too easily attracted to “bright shiny things”.