There is no cricketing action taking place across the world for the first time in decades; the global COVID-19 pandemic has brought international cricket to a standstill. Billions of people in different parts of the world including India, England and certain states in Australia are in lockdown.
Cricket fans are bored at home and are very keen on getting any cricket related news. This is why the recent interview from former Australian captain Michael Clarke has created a controversy. Clarke sat down with Big Sports Breakfast and made some controversial statements; they did not go down well with the Australian cricket team.
Clarke Accuses Aussies Of Going Soft
Michael Clarke played under Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting; he was used to playing the typical in-your-face Aussie style of cricket. This was the era when Steve Waugh used the phrase ‘mental disintegration’; it involved a lot of sledging and getting under the skin of the opposing team.
The Aussies were masters at this art and dominated the game for over a decade under the leadership of Waugh and Ponting. Clarke during his tenure as captain also tried to enforce a similar style of leadership and was very successful but not as successful as Waugh and Ponting.
The former skipper claims that the current Australia team does not use this mindset anymore and have adopted a soft stance, especially when they play against India. The India-Australia rivalry has been a fierce rivalry for over a decade as both teams are right up there with the best cricketing teams in the world.
Clarke believes that in recent years the rivalry is no longer as fierce and as competitive as it used to be and blames the Australian team for this decline. Clarke minced no words and stated that the main reason for this change in attitude is because Australian players do not want to sledge and offend the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma because they are afraid it might impact their IPL contracts.
Aussies Don’t Want To Jeopardize IPL Contracts
The IPL is the most lucrative domestic T20 tournament in the world; the BCCI is the most powerful cricketing board. It generates the majority of revenue for the International Cricket Council (ICC). Clarke says that Australian players are aware of this and do not want to offend their pay masters; they know that it could result in an IPL contract that pays less or even worse no IPL contract.
Clarke went on record to state that it becomes difficult for the Australians to sledge Kohli and Sharma.
This is because the Australians are scared of a backlash. What if Kohli and Sharma inform their franchises to not bid for certain Australian players? In order to stay in their good books, Australian players are adopting a softer stance; they don’t want to jeopardize their IPL contracts.
Kohli Says IPL Builds Friendship
Indian captain Virat Kohli does not share the same view as Michael Clarke. In an Instagram feed with Kevin Pietersen earlier this month, Kohli said the IPL had built friendships. And that helped grow a bond of mutual respect.
Kohli claimed that it was difficult to sledge certain players because of this bond and mutual respect.
The current Australian team is yet to respond to Michael Clarke’s allegations!