So you’re a national cricketer. You had talent as a young boy which got recognised and nurtured. You rose up through the ranks slowly, but surely. Juniors first. Under 13, under 14 representative sides. Maybe you play junior state cricket at a national carnival. But you keep getting better. Improving. You start playing grade cricket, and you dominate that too. Once you hit your late teens, you head across to England and play a season or two of county cricket. You come back. You get the call: State squad. You play Sheffield Shield, One Day, Big Bash cricket. Then finally, at long last, you get picked to represent Australia. You get your baggy green cap. You fly overseas with the team. They’ve been down for a while, but suddenly they’ve resurged. You’re in South Africa facing the best team in the world, and you knock them off. After the game you relax; years of hard work finally realised. You grab a drink and ask if your wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend/partner/person who’s supported you unconditionally through all of this can come and celebrate with you. And then Michael Clarke looks you square in the eye and says “No.”
According to this morning’s Sydney Morning Herald, the post-test celebrations in South Africa after Australia’s recent triumph were strictly a players-only zone. None of the wives and girlfriends (collectively referred to by the horrible shorthand term, “WAGs”) of the players were allowed in the rooms. It seems that, not content to reclaim the title of best cricket team in the world, Michael Clarke also decided to chase the world record for Biggest Dude-Fest simultaneously.
The move is not without reasoning. Much of the internal animosity that’s plagued the team in recent times can be traced back to an incident involving Michael Clarke, Simon Katich, and one man’s desire to party on a yacht with swathes of beautiful women as opposed to sitting silently in a dimly lit locker room with an ice cold tinnie of ‘Straya’s finest, thinking about bouncers for a while. So in an effort to promote team solidarity, Captain Clarke banned all wives/husbands/girlfriends/boyfriends/partners/people who have supported them through all of this from the locker room during celebrations.
Because we all know that the best way to sort out issues between men is to lock them all in a room together with booze and just let them work it all out. Raging testosterone and alcohol have a calming effect when combined, right? I mean, I’m no fancy big city scientist, but I’m pretty sure I heard that somewhere.
Photo: William West for AFP.