Former cricketer Michael Clarke feels that if Australia is looking for a perfect skipper then they will be without a captain for the next 15 years.
With just a few weeks remaining for the Ashes 2021-22, Australia was jolted as Tim Paine stepped down as the captain following his sexting scandal. With him stepping down as a skipper, Cricket Australia is certainly set to appoint a new captain in the next few days.
Paine’s scandal came into the limelight after reports emerged that he had sent lewd texts and photos of himself to a female colleague in Tasmania Cricket in 2017.
With Ashes 2021-22 just around the corner, there are a lot of speculations about who’ll become the new Test captain of Australia. Being the vice-captain of the side Pat Cummins is the front-runner to lead the side, some reports suggest that Steve Smith can also be handed over the responsibilities.
Some reports even suggested that Cricket Australia interviewed both Pat Cummins and Steve Smith for the role of captain.
Speaking to Big Sports Breakfast, former Australian skipper Michael Clarke cited the example of Ricky Ponting and his infamous club fight in 1999. He asked if going by the Paine pattern, should Ponting have been dropped then. The 2015 World Cup-winning captain added that Ponting is an example of how maturity can turn around the life of a cricketer.
“Go back in my time even to Ricky Ponting. If that’s the case, he never would have captained Australia. He had a punch up in the middle of a Bourbon & Beefsteak. Are you not going to give him the job because of that?”
“He’s a great example. He’s shown you how time, experience, maturity, playing at the highest level and even the captaincy turned him around,” Michael Clarke said.
Although Clarke admitted that the Australian Test captain should hold a high standard, he said that the country won’t have a captain for 15 years if the management looks for someone who hasn’t done anything wrong.
“Of course, you have to uphold certain standards but are you going to say: ‘He can change, he can mature. Where is the backing of the player as well? You’ll be looking for 15 years (if you want a captain who hasn’t done something wrong), we won’t have a captain,” he said.
Clarke said that he didn’t understand why Tim Paine resigned over the 2017 incident. He questioned CA's "rules of engagement", pointing to how Cricket Tasmania (Paine's home state board) also found CA at fault for the whole saga.
“I don’t get it. If Cricket Australia were there telling him he had no choice, then he should’ve stood there and said: ‘Listen, that’s on you. You guys sack me, go for it but I gave you this information four years ago. I handed it to you, I was open, I was honest, I was straight and I was cleared.
“Just because it’s the public, the rules of engagement are different? I don’t think so. It seems to me Cricket Tasmania are saying exactly that, hang on, you cleared him four years ago,” he concluded