Off-field dramas rocked Aust team: report

Skipper Michael Clarke has rubbished reports of upheaval in the camp before Australia’s embarrassing fourth Test loss to England at Trent Bridge.


A News Corp report said the tour had been dogged by off-field dramas with a long-running feud between the wives of two senior players; Clarke’s refusal to travel on the team bus or socialise with teammates, the sacking of popular vice-captain Brad Haddin after time off for family reasons and the mishandling of selection announcements.

But Clarke rubbished the report, saying when you don’t perform there’s going to be “Chinese whispers”.

“There is no disharmony is this group whatsoever,” Clarke said on Triple M. “The players are as tight as any team I’ve been a part of.

“Travelling in different cars. What a load of s…”

The report which incensed Clarke added there was a year-long disintegration in the off-field relationship between himself and the rest of the team as he often chose to travel by private car instead of the team bus and rarely attended team get togethers.

It went on to say Clarke’s teammates were stunned when he joined them for a rare drink in the hotel bar on the day he made the decision to stand down while it was also known that the wives of two senior players did not get along which caused friction between their husbands.

“Wives and girlfriends being on tour is a distraction for us. What a load of s….

“That’s absolute garbage.

“I’ll give back 10 of my Test 100s if it wasn’t for my beautiful wife.”

Regarding Haddin’s axing, Clarke said it was obviously going to be tough as he had grown up playing with Australia’s vice-captain.

But he said Haddin had conducted himself brilliantly throughout the process and the manner in which he helped Peter Nevill.

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland earlier promised a review of the tour, following the series loss with one Test to go.

Meanwhile, cricketers Ben Cutting and former teammate Ryan Harris have taken to twitter to slam Monday’s edition of The Courier Mail over their damning “From loner to loser” front page headline on Clarke.

“Today’s front page of the @couriermail is the most distastefully poor timed page in a long time,” said Queensland all-rounder Ben Cutting.

Harris agreed: “Well said Cuttsy, couldn’t have put it better myself! #norespect”

The front page however is in stark contrast to the paper’s back page which calls Clarke “one of the greats”, with one fan tweeting “does the front page know what the back page has done?”

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