Home > Features >

There has to be a sense of professionalism if you aspire to represent the country

There has to be a sense of professionalism if you aspire to represent the country

The authority of the Mickey Arthur (left) and Michael Clarke (right) would have been eroded and a wrong message sent to the team if those who failed to do the job expected of them were allowed to go unpunished © Getty Images

By Amyn Malik

The news of axing of four Australian players — Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, James  Pattinson and Usman Khawaja  — for the third Test match in Mohali came as a shock to many, judging by the reactions of the former players and media alike. However, Australian cricket is known for its ruthlessness and no-nonsense attitude.

At first, it seemed like a harsh punishment. The only thing these four players were guilty of was not submitting something akin to a half page review — of how the team could improve — in the stipulated time frame to the team coach. It may seem all the more surprising as Australia needs all the players it has after two demoralising defeats; one of the four is the vice-captain and was speculated to bat at No 3 in the third Test, another was to be drafted into the team after poor performances of other batsmen, the third has been their best bowler on the tour and the fourth has a great record on the ground for the match.

Astonishing disciplinary action, isn’t it? If you are looking to win the match and keep the series alive you need these people in the team. This decision has also led Watson to leave the tour and reconsider his future in Tests.

The decision to drop him from the game was incommensurate with the crime, he said. To hell with diplomacy.

Former players minced no words to deplore the move.

Former Australia captain Allan Border stated, “I’m surprised that’s the penalty for something so mundane. It seems like it was on a schoolboy tour or something. It’s an over-the-top reaction.”

Mark Waugh also spoke strongly against the decision, “I’m stunned. I’ve never heard of this sort of thing before at top level in any sport. When you are losing there are niggling things there, but they’re grown men, it’s not schoolboy stuff. It’s not under-6s, this is Test cricket… there would have been a better way.”

Other testimonies were just as damning. But what everyone has missed is the importance of discipline.

When the captain and the seniormost player could hand in his so called ‘homework’, so could these four.

They are not above the team and should not be treated as special. It may seem that the other transgressions like not turning in the wellness forms every day during the tour have been ignored and these four, who might have been exemplary in other respects, were dealt with harshly.

That may be true but a message had to be sent; harsh punishments. Discipline needed to be restored, especially after two defeats of such magnitude. The danger of letting this slip would have the effect of a lax attitude on the remaining squad members.

The authority of the coach (and also that of the captain and manager) would have eroded with every member deeming any exercises that the coach lists as optional. That would have affected the team performance even further.

Yes, cricket is not about ‘PowerPoint’ and ‘report writing’ — it is about on field performances. But, the coach is there to improve those on field performances and take the blame for the lack of them and to do that he needs the authority.

This incident, if taken lightly, had the potential to undermine that authority, a possibility that the Australians have made clear is not acceptable.

A statement has been made.

If you want to have the honour of representing your country, you need to show professionalism. Freeloaders and undisciplined individuals will not be tolerated.

Could this statement be have made in a different way with less severe punishments?
Perhaps.

But, the question that is on my mind: Could this have happened in Indian or Pakistani teams?

(Dr Amyn Malik is a research associate of Interactive Research & Development and an AKU graduate from the class of 2010.The above article is reproduced with permission from www. http://tribune.com.pk/)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan’s double ton puts Pakistan on top against Australia at stumps on Day 2 of 2nd Test

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone 214/4 at stumps; lead by 111 runs

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

KL Rahul could be opening option for India’s tour to Australia

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

WICB officials should visit India to minimize damage: Andy Roberts

Younis Khan: I want to be remembered as team-man

ICC World Cup 2015: New Zealand prime minister urges Indian fans to attend the tournament

Mohammad Yousuf: Muttiah Muralitharan would not have been allowed to bowl under current ICC rules

Mohammad Azharuddin’s son included in UP One-Day squad for Vijay Hazare Trophy

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

Microsoft Office for Mac to release in 2015, new Outlook for Mac now available to Office 365 subscribers

Furious 7 trailer launch: Trailer Live Streaming of the much awaited Vin Diesel, late Paul Walker film

Ayurvedic treatment: 7 types of Ayurvedic massages you should know about

Younis Khan: I want to be remembered as team-man

International programme in Animal Husbandry

WICB officials should visit India to minimize damage: Andy Roberts

Nokia’s Chennai plant not a part of the Microsoft deal, to shut shop tomorrow

Beauty Tip #43 — Get fuller-looking lips with home-made sugar scrub

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan Birthday Special: Top 5 roles which stunned her fans

Bigg Boss 8 Day 40 highlights: Upen Patel faces captaincy woes; Gautam Gulati punished again!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here