Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has let loose on Cricket Australia and warned them against trying to sweep allegations made by David Warner’s manager “under the carpet”.
Speaking on Sky Sports Radio’s Tea Big Sports Breakfastwhere he is a host, Clarke urged CA officials to address the allegations “because this isn’t going away”.
“What a day for cricket, honestly, I’ve said … since Sandpapergate happened that I wish this thing would go away. Well I’m going to say the opposite,” he said.
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“Because yesterday is an explosion. This thing is going nowhere. This thing is getting out of control. This thing is getting bigger.
“There’s some nervous men waking up this morning, let me tell you.”
On Thursday afternoon, quite literally as Warner walked out to bat at the Adelaide Oval, his manager James Erskine dropped a bomb on Cricket Australia.
Clarke said his “jaw hit the floor” when he heard Erskine’s comments.
“The thing that needs to be clear to Cricket Australia, you cannot sweep this under the carpet and say, ‘well we’ve got a new board, we’ve got a new CEO, we’ve got a new high performance’, “Clarke said.
“I don’t care if you go to (then-chief executive) James Sutherland. Pick up the phone and call him. Call (former high performance coach) Pat Howard, or anybody else that was involved with what James Erskine is saying.
“You’re not sweeping this boys … you better find out what the heck has gone on because I want to know, as a past Australian captain, I want to know what is going on inside the set-up.
“I’m telling you if James Erskine has that information. You think that’s the only thing he’s got? This thing is not going away. The truth needs to be told.”
Clarke also noted the timing of Erskine’s comments – on the eve of the first series against South Africa since Sandpapergate of March 2018.
“I’m licking my lips if I’m South Africa. Look at the papers today – we’re not even talking about the Sandpapergate – this is in the lead up,” he said.
“I believe this is a big part of why Davey hasn’t gone through with (appealing the captaincy ban), because he knows if he says one thing that is off script compared to what’s been said, he puts his teammates in it.”
Australian coach Trevor Bayliss spent five years coaching England. He said the dressing room should be exclusively the domain of players and coaching staff.
“That dressing room is for the players and the coaching staff,” Bayliss said on SEN Breakfast.
“Certainly with the teams that I have coached, I can’t remember (executives being there).
“Every now and then someone might pop their head in but certainly nothing to do with tactics.
“(Tactics) are the domain of the captain and the coaching staff.”
Clarke said Erskine’s comments would no doubt be a huge distraction for players in this second Test against the West Indies.
“They more than anyone else, that team would want this to go away. The players in that Test match would want this to go away,” he said.
“You’re walking out onto the field (with) this in the back of your mind going ‘oh my god, what are we going to see when we come off at lunch? What are we going to see when I come off at tea ?’
“And I wonder what Davey’s thinking as well? He walks out to bat while this is going … don’t worry about getting out for 20. He opens the newspaper or turns his phone on after the day’s play and says ‘here we go again ‘.
“It’s not going to end… Cricket Australia needs serious help right now. They need proper help. This is every man for themselves. It is horrible.”
Wide World of Sports has approached Cricket Australia for comment.
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