Repost from 01/04/2015
They are very good cricketers, but the behaviour of our cricketers leaves a nasty taste.
The morning after the World Cup victory the Australian captain seemed proud to tell us that all the Australian team were hungover.
When asked by the media about the aggressive send-offs to Martin Guptill, Grant Elliott and Daniel Vittori, the Australian captain said that he hadn’t seen anything to be unhappy about. ‘I can’t remember a player getting a send-of. … Maybe I was too far from the action.’!
The photos of our victorious team celebrating the victory were described by Bruce Guthrie, the editorial director of the New Daily and a former managing editor of the Sun Pictorial as follows ‘There were VB bottles everywhere, in their mouths, in their hands and scattered on the turf before them.’ He added that their behaviour ‘reinforced our unfortunate standing as a bunch of drunks who can’t make any occasion without getting thoroughly munted.’
Then our vice-captain capped it off by telling us all what he really felt about those gentlemanly New Zealanders. He told Triple M the morning after the victory ‘They were that nice to us in New Zealand and we were that uncomfortable. I said in the team meeting I can’t stand for this anymore, we are going at them as hard as we can. It was that uncomfortable. All they were was that nice to us for seven days. I said I’m not playing cricket like this. If we get another crack at these guys in the finals, I’m letting everything out’. What a contrast this was to the gracious behaviour of the New Zealand side, particularly the tributes to Michael Clarke as he left the field in his last one day international match.
But concern about how nice the New Zealanders were was not enough for our vice-captain, Brad Haddin, who then proceeded on Triple M to give us a full account of the drinking. He said ‘I’ll paint a picture for you. I’ve got a coach who’s spooning the World Cup who can’t speak. I’ve got James Faulkner whose got his clothes off, but don’t tell everyone. And I’ve got the Marsh boys, and you know I can’t even talk about the Marsh boys because you know what trouble they are. I’ve got Josh Hazlewood … he’s never been drunk in 30 years. It’s a problem. We just can’t get him drunk. He’s an absolute nightmare to drink with’.
Perhaps the very large pay packets of our cricketers have gone to their heads. According to the BRW Top Sports Earners for 2014, our graceless cricketers get very good salaries.
In 2014 the salaries of Australian cricketers were as follows
Shane Watson $4.5m
Mitchell Johnson $4.1m
Michael Clarke $4m
David Warner $3.8m
Steve Smith $3.1m
James Faulkner $2.8m
Brad Haddin $2.5m
Glenn Maxwell $2.4m
Mitchell Starc $2.2m
George Bailey $1.8m
Aaron Finch $1.8m
In his eulogy at Phillip Hughes’ memorial service last November, Michael Clarke said ‘Phillip’s spirit, which is now part of our game forever, will act as a custodian of the sport we all love’. Many would have hoped and expected that out of this tragedy some good would come. But there’s not much evidence of that so far.
When cricket resumed after Phillip Hughes’ untimely death, we saw quite a ritual from the Australian team – players kissing the turf, pointing repeatedly to the heavens, lining up the bats and stroking the number 63 and number 408 signs painted on the ground.
If our extraordinarily well-paid cricketers wanted to put some substance behind these gestures, they would have considered funding a foundation for young country cricketers like Phillip Hughes, or perhaps for Indigenous kids with cricketing talent. But unfortunately the gestures don’t seem to have been backed by much of substance.
Where is Cricket Australia in all this, which is so dependent on Channel 9 for fees which in turn are heavily dependent on alcohol, junk food and sugar drinks advertising? These are all products causing great damage to Australians.
It was a great cricket victory in Melbourne, but surely the behaviour of our cricketers and the advertising of dangerous products must send a warning message to us all.