'Defensive' Clarke says Oz players 'understand' they can't 'cross the line' with sledging
Australian captain Michael Clarke has said that he and his players are aware of the fact that there is a 'line' they cannot ever cross, although he admitted that he stepped over the line twice during the winter.
Clarke was responding to an essay by former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe, who expressed his disgust at the 'appalling' standard of verbal 'combat during the series, in which his brother Jeff umpired, and reflected that 'things calmed down only after Australia had the series in the bag, and England had all but given up'.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, although Clarke, who was fined for telling England's James Anderson to expect a 'broken f***ing arm' as he faced up to Mitchell Johnson at the Gabba, has consistently been unrepentant about the side's sustained aggression and left it up to the ICC and Cricket Australia (CA) to intervene when 'a line is crossed'.
However, Clarke, who was also involved in an altercation with Dale Steyn after an inexplicable decision review at the end of the next series in South Africa, said that he and his teammates are aware and respects the fact that there is a 'line' they cannot ever cross, although he admitted that he 'crossed that line' during the Anderson and the Steyn incidents.
But Clarke believes that it is possible for emotions to appear publicly if players are playing the game at the highest level, adding that generally, Australians cricketers play the game extremely fairly.
Stating that it is the 'Australian way' to play tough, non-compromising cricket on the field, Clarke further said that they are very social off the field and go out of the way to meet with the opposing team whatever the result may be, adding that as players, they are all aware that the integrity of the game is crucial and as a captain, it is his job to uphold that integrity.
(Posted on 02-05-2014)