JOHN MENADUE. Our cricketers The Ugly Australians. A REPOST

Repost from 01/04/2015. Things have only got worse with the cheating in South Africa.. We need a clean out not just of players but coaching staff,Cricket Australia and the media .

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  gambling,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.


John Laurence Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

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9 Responses to JOHN MENADUE. Our cricketers The Ugly Australians. A REPOST

  1. Avatar Tony Ryan says:

    At 75, I am old enough to remember how society was at one time regulated: with powerful ethics of loyalty, honesty, integrity, patriotism and respect holding reign… with the word HONOUR shining at the apex, like snow on a mountain.

    To say to a man “You are without honour” was enough to cripple him emotionally and socially; but, happily, such need rarely occurred in those morally clearer times.

    That nobody has applied the word HONOUR to the cheating saga demonstrates just how much our Australian culture as disintegrated in five brief decades. We are surrounded by supposed role-model people who are without honour… politicians, academics, journalists, the judiciary, sports people, church leaders, executives, and professionals in all fields.

    I have observed this erosion as commencing in 1973, immediately following the conversion of News Ltd to Americanisation. Free trade and equally cynical foreign policy subservience to US war-making has led the metamorphosis, with all bases covered by Murdoch’s media empire and its all-pervading and compliant journalists.

    I have listened to school kids espousing cheating and any other underhand tactics, as long as the outcome is a win. This was dually-defined with themselves as winners and all others as losers. “Dog eat dog” is the new inspirational ethic.

    This has to be opposed at all levels, not just one or two. And the resistance has to be uncompromising. The cheating cricket player and captain must be sacked… permanently. Nothing else will convince the world we are fair dinkum.

    And the entirety of Cricket Australia must be sacked, for it is they who fostered this attitude and continue to do so.

    Then, and only then, can we turn our attention to politicians who betray our trust and who, by their example, guide our youth into their corruption. We need to name and shame the CEOs who have been handsomely paid to sack thousands of loyal workers. Our church leaders who have winked and nodded their way to positions of unaccountable power and privilege, easing the way for state corruption and rampant paedophilia.

    I could go on, but I am sure you get my drift.

  2. Greg Bailey Greg Bailey says:

    That the ball-tampering episode in the latest test between Australia and South Africa has given rise to a reaction bordering on the hysterical in the mass media shows how much the media and most Australians need a mythological space where they find a place of absolute honesty and integrity. This is the only conclusion that can be drawn from the opinion pieces and the letters to the editor dealing with this subject. The absolute integrity required of cricket at the highest level stands in stark contrast to the seeming endless dishonesty and manipulation now dominating politics and the world of big business.

    What will the effect of ball tampering be on the larger Australian society and economy in material terms? It will probably be minimal, compared to the absence of transparency and corruption in the political and business world. Yet it is presented as though the ethical heart of Australian culture has been torn apart. What it shows is that our society needs a place where behaviour and belief can be seen as impeccable models and areas for the guidance of others, even where the general public has largely given up on demanding integrity of those areas of Australian culture whose material consequences are much more significant than sport.

  3. Avatar Stephen FitzGerald says:

    I gave up going to the cricket with our son and watching it on TV when the Australian cricket authorities gave Shane Warne a slap on the wrist for misconduct that should have had him expelled. I thought, what is the point of watching a competitive sport when you don’t know if someone is cheating (because of the lax regulatory discipline), but you do know if that they are, no one will do anything serious about it. So, this has been the regime for a very long time.

  4. Avatar Ted Egan says:

    I will only follow the Australian women from here on in. Sad, after 80+ years of loving the ethics of the game, as taught to me by my father who too me to the 1937 MCG Test to see the two greatest ever cricketers . What would The Tiger and The Don say about this disaster?

  5. Avatar Bruce Wearne says:

    This 1/4/2015 blog confirms that the 26/3/2018 email from “Australian Cricket Family” – – “we are sorry” – is symptomatic of an inability to call cheating by its name.
    It’s worth a careful textual analysis to notice just how manicured the statement of James Sutherland is.
    1. “We are sorry that you had to wake up this morning to news from South Africa that our Australian Men’s Cricket team and our Captain admitted to conduct that is outside both the Laws of our game and the Spirit of Cricket.”
    Consider “admitted” – No hiding behind a (Kantian philosophical) view that the “thing in itself” is beyond our grasp here! It is firstly their cheating that is of concern here, not their ‘fessing up to cheating.
    2. “This behaviour calls into question the integrity of the team and Cricket Australia.”
    As John Menadue’s 1/4/2015 article confirms this does not “calls into question… integrity” – it simply definitively reveals a basic and long-time lack of integrity.
    3 “Following discussions with Steve Smith and David Warner they have agreed to stand down …”
    Consider “they have agreed”: Are we to suppose that they could not be stood down without their permission first? The ongoing lack of integrity in Cricket Australia is further illustrated by such calculated wording. They should have no choice. They have violated their contracted agreement to play within their code of conduct. This language is “damage control” weasel words.
    4 “As I said at a media conference earlier today, Cricket Australia and Australian cricket fans expect high standards from cricketers representing our country, and on this occasion these standards have not been met.”
    Consider: “on this occasion” – who is James Sutherland trying to fool here?

    So what does “sorry” really mean in this communication? Any genuine apology from Cricket Australia is blurred by such wording.

  6. Avatar Tony Mitchell says:

    Thank you Michael Faulkner. Australian Cricket officials are a disgrace. Someone there must find leadership – and strength of character – in policing this damaging and pathetic yobbo culture. Alcohol fuelled violence – against women and in the streets is a costly epidemic. Ex Captain Clarke says – “The sport we all love”. He must be joking.

  7. Avatar John Menadue says:

    ‘What if they just banned the VB alcohol a day before the match? If they already do that I just hope the future Australian cricket team is not so selfish and more responsible than the cricket team now.
    Carlo Worrall, living in Auckland, 11 years old.

  8. Avatar John Tulloh says:

    As good as the Australian cricketers are, it is hard to warm to their World Cup triumph when they are dripping with money and yet react with such puerile and loutish triumphalism. Compare them to the graciousness of the NZ cricketers who, according to a recent SMH report, have basic contracts of less than six figures. In the spirit of cricket, they were the winners.

  9. Avatar Michael Faulkner says:

    So the graceless spoilt boys culture that is elite cricket in this country, (these eleven players being representative) earned $33 million between them in 2014.

    One would think they might have something to give back to the Australian community, other than the boorish drunken insularity they exhibit that now matches by their ‘ world class’ sledging ability towards the players of other teams.

    Ugly Australians indeed !

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