Melbourne: Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke launched a blistering attack on former teammates Matthew Hayden and Andrew Symonds and even slammed John Buchanan, saying his dog could have done as good a job as the former national coach.
The former captain used his Ashes Diary 2015, released earlier this week, to hit out at members from Australia’s glory era who took a public swipe at him after he announced his international retirement in August.
Clarke described the “pot shots” thrown at him by Hayden and Symonds as a “low act” and lambasted the media who had “smashed” him “for every failure of the team in the last 13 years”.
He savaged Symonds, with whom he was once close friends, after the all-rounder questioned Clarke’s leadership style.
“Andrew Symonds went on TV to criticise my leadership. I’m sorry, but he is not a person to judge anyone on leadership. This is a guy who turned up drunk to play for his country. It’s pretty rich for him to be throwing rocks,” Clarke wrote.
He hit back at Hayden’s assertion that ‘Clarke had threatened to hand back his baggy green cap if asked to continue fielding at bat-pad by Ricky Ponting’, saying it was a tongue-in-cheek comment that had been misunderstood by the former opener.
“I think I’ve shown over the past 12 years how much I’ve valued representing my country and how much my 389 baggy green means to me. If Ricky had asked me to jump off the Harbour Bridge, I would have jumped. I loved playing for Australia that much,” the World Cup winning captain wrote.
Clarke hammered former coach Buchanan, who presided over one of the most successful eras in Australian cricket, for alleging that the culture of the baggy green had deteriorated under his leadership.
“I don’t think John knows a thing about the baggy green, having never worn one. He’s still living off the fact that he coached a team that anyone, even my dog Jerry, could have coached to world domination,” he said.
Clarke believed it was unfair the previous generation were still holding against him mistakes he had made as a 22-year-old in team of “wiser heads”.
The 34-year-old said the fierce criticism he received from the media in the wake of his retirement and reaffirmed to him that he had made the right decision.