Michael Clarke and Cricket Australia’s long-term relationship is fizzling out before our eyes.
In order to play in the World Cup opener, Clarke must pass a series of fitness ‘requirements’ handed down by CA.
These include being able to bowl 10 overs straight (something he hasn’t done, or needed to do, in any form of the game, in years), to “throw himself around in the field,” and to “hit a six off the first ball of his innings.”
What happened to CA and Clarke? Where did it all go wrong?
The Clarke and CA relationship is like that of the married couple cascading towards an unavoidable divorce. She wants him to cut down on work hours, spend more time with the kids and give up the drink.
He’s more than willing to do that, but the damage has been done. The mere sight of him repulses her – and she’s already exploring options with the local Family Law practitioner regarding a no-fault divorce settlement.
Meanwhile, Cricket Australia has embarked upon a coquettish relationship with Clarke’s heir apparent, Steve Smith. They’re shooting each other furtive glances across a dimly lit bar, all raised eyebrows, cheeky winks and phone numbers on the back of coasters.
Like Lang Hancock to Rose Porteous in the 1980s, CA has quickly become enamoured with its young paramour, having cast aside the old battle-axe who stood by faithfully for so long, a silent yet powerful presence; the respected matriarchal figure (I’m talking about Clarke, if you’re still with me).
Clarke’s years of loyal service will be to no avail. Next thing you know, Cricket Australia’s dying its hair black, lavishing its new love interest with harbour-side real estate. Meanwhile, shareholders fret over the future direction of the company. “The old man’s lost it,” they say.
Clarke has borne Cricket Australia four kids, 12 grandchildren, and a lifetime of treasured memories. All of a sudden, Smith’s breezed into town in a short-cut dress with legs that “go on forever,” and Cricket Australia’s bloody interested.
In summary, Cricket Australia’s got a script for Viagra (with four repeats), and you can bet he’s gonna use it.
By Dave Edwards