It was Ashes 2013-14. Michael Clarke went up to English tailender James Anderson and said, "Get ready for a broken f****ing arm".
It was Ashes 2013-14. Michael Clarke went up to English tail-ender James Anderson and said, “Get ready for a broken f****ing arm”. Sure enough, Mitchel Johnson nearly did it and Clarke later clarified that he shouldn’t have used the F word, but the former Australian skipper just admitted to be telling Anderson what Mitch Johnson’s plan was for him. Sounds awfully like a threat to me. Years earlier, in Sydney 2008, after every mistake an umpire could make was made and against the then Indian team, the then captain and legend Ricky Ponting, on being asked about the horrendous umpiring standards asked a senior Indian journalist to get out of the room if he doubted the former’s integrity. So since when does Australia start complaining about every word said under the sun?
The answer is always. Remember the monkey gate scandal? The English and the Australians have always complained and cribbed about things if they don’t get to do it first. They started with the Reverse swing, calling it unethical and inappropriate use of the red ball. Australian umpire Darrel Hair had no-balled Muttiah Muralidharan 7 time in 3 overs for ‘throwing’ in a test match in 1995. Cut to 2017 Border-Gavaskar Series, on landing in India, Steve Smith seemed to be encouraging sledging, when he said that each of his players plays the way they do and if they wanted to get into a verbal battle and it got the best out of them, they would go for it.
Speaking of the unapologetic ‘cheating’ remark mentioned so frantically in the Daily Telegraph, Ricky Ponting in the infamous Sydney test of 2008, the then Australian captain Ricky Ponting had edged Sourav Ganguly down the leg side and was not given out. And it wasn’t a minor nick; the ball had taken a thick edge of Ponting’s bat. Michael Clarke after edging one to the 1st slip waited till eternity for the umpire’s decision.
Similarly, if one would google instances of sledging or Youtube it, they could see the verbal banter the Aussies have been engaged with since the inception of Test cricket. The likes of Merv Hughes, Andrew Symonds and even the legendary Glenn McGrath never stopped themselves from speaking their minds and hiding well behind the decades of Australian supremacy in the world of cricket. Sure, Virat Kohli might have crossed a line here and there and surely he is unapologetic but it does seem a tad hypocritical on the Australians’ part to be complaining about something that they had so vigorously been engaged in for the longest period in test history.