x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Michael Clarke's twitter blunder

If the Fremantle Doctor, the sea breeze which occurs in Western Australia, whistles through the Waca and causes an unseasonal chill in Perth this week, expect Michael Clarke to come out to bat wearing a snood.

If the Fremantle Doctor, the sea breeze which occurs in Western Australia, whistles through the Waca and causes an unseasonal chill in Perth this week, expect Michael Clarke to come out to bat wearing a snood to keep him warm.

After all, Australian batsmen are supposed to apologise for not walking as often as real men take to the football field wearing the winter warming neckerchiefs.

Yet Clarke went against convention last week in Adelaide. "Just want to apologise for not walking off the ground tonight when I hit the ball," Australia's vice-captain tweeted, after falling victim to Kevin Pietersen in the second Test. "I was just so disappointed my emotions got [the better] of me."

Mark Waugh, a cricketer who played in the far off days when men were men, was livid. "Michael Clarke on Twitter saying sorry for not walking?" Waugh was quoted as saying. "Mate, if he did that in our side, there'd be hell to pay. AB would chuck his Twitter box off the balcony."

AB is Allan Border, the captain who rebuilt Australian cricket the last time they were in a mess like the one they now face.

Dean Jones, another of Border's former charges, recalls the story of when his captain encouraged him on to a double-ton, greatness, and a hospital bed in the tied Test in India in 1986.

"You weak Victorian," Jones alleges he was told by Border between vomiting bouts, "I want a tough Australian out here. I want a Queenslander."

There was no room for self-pity in Border's dressing room His team's could not even spell "emotions" let alone be eager to microblog about them.

pradley@thenational.ae