Former captain of the Australian cricket team Michael Clarke said that he feels the Australian Test team would be without a captain for the next 15 years, if the country’s cricket administrators are looking for someone with a “perfect” and unblemished record.
Cricket Australia (CA) is set to appoint a new captain after Tim Paine stepped down from the post, in the wake of a sexting scandal.
Fast bowling spearhead Pat Cummins has emerged as the frontrunner to succeed Paine and former skipper Steve Smith is also in the reckoning.
Clarke pointed out how Ricky Ponting became one of Australia’s greatest captains after overcoming an erratic start to his international career.
“Go back in my time even to Ricky Ponting. If that’s the case, he never would have captained Australia,” Clarke told Big Sports Breakfast.
“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 has shown you how time, experience, maturity, playing at the highest level and even the captaincy turned him around,” Clarke said.
Paine is the only specialist wicketkeeper in Australia’s 15-man squad to face England in the upcoming Ashes, but chairman of selectors George Bailey said that he is not final for the first Test starting in Brisbane on December 8.
Clarke admitted that the Australian Test captain needed to be held to a high standard, but he said that the team would end up with few options if it has unrealistic expectations.
“Of course, you have to uphold certain standards but are you going to say: He can change, he can mature,” Clarke said.
“Where is the backing of the player as well? You’ll be looking for 15 years (if you want a captain who has not done something wrong), we won’t have a captain,” Clarke said.
Clarke said that he was still confused as to why Paine resigned over the 2017 incident.
“If Cricket Australia were there telling him he had no choice, then he should have 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,” Clarke said.
“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,” Clarke added.
(With inputs from Agencies)