The cricket fraternity was on Monday shocked over Australia’s axing of their top cricketers – Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja – for the third Test against India at Mohali, especially at a time when the team faces an uphill task to make a comeback and avoid series defeat.
These four Australian cricketers had failed to submit their presentations and bring out three points to help the side out of trouble in India.
An 'angry' Australian vice-captain Watson on Monday left for Australia after he was axed from the squad for the third Test against India in Mohali starting on Thursday.
This move has shocked the cricketing fraternity as Australia have struggled on this tour so far and have lost the two Test matches comprehensively.
Former Australian captain Allan Border also ridiculed the team management's decision to axe the four players for the third Test in Mohali over a protocol breach.
"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," Border said.
Former Australia batsman Mark Waugh added: "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 school boy stuff. It's not under-6s, this is Test cricket there would have been a better way."
Darren Lehmann too agreed with Waugh and said Australia badly need the axed quartet of Watson, Pattinson, Johnson and Khawaja in the next match. "Adults we are, not schoolboys! Please let's act properly and make
good decisions in India! Need these boys playing," Lehmann said.
Former Australian batsman Damien Martyn tweeted, “To many wrong people are picked for jobs who give a fancy presentation !” (sic)
Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle wrote, “Staggered by intensity of decision to leave out 4 players for not submitting feedback forms. Were they aware of possible punishment?”
Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff tweeted, "Bit harsh on Watson , I heard he's still on The Biff and Kipper books."
Former England captain Michael Vaughan made fun of the decision. "What is going on with Aussie Cricket?? Didn't realise you had to do a Essay to get a selection these days..!!!!! Bowl better,Bat better,
Catch better,communicate better... Just bloody play better.... I am now available for Selection of Australia..!!!!!," (sic) Vaughan tweeted, making a mockery of the Aussie team management's decision.
Former New Zealand cricketer Iain O’Brien said, “At least NZ'ers get in trouble for having some proper fun (read: not fun, against team protocols, naughty boys) No homework, ha.”
Tom Moody expressed, “From my experience report writing is not a player's strength, no surprise to hear some failing, need to focus more on field short comings?”
"This thing is turning ugly, Watson now heading home, hard/reckless decisions like this can set teams back, surely we need our guys playing?" Moody further added.
“Implications from these actions are serious.. I feel it is deeper than it appears. Aust are in trouble!!” (sic) said Dean Jones. He further said, "Watson's departure, Maybe the birth was coming earlier than expected!" after it reports suggested tht Watson left to be with his pregnant wife who is due to give birth this month.
Former paceman Damien Fleming wrote, "On a positive note Ed Cowans presentation has just been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize #CanWrite #GoEd #MohaliGateHomework #AUSvIND" (sic)
Former wicket-keeper Ian Healy said the episode will have adverse effect on Australia's preparation for the Ashes scheduled for later this year. "Disappointed in the news of the players being sent home. Lead up to the Ashes is struggling. Need to get back on top #ausvind #breakingpoin," Healy wrote in his twitter page.
David Lloyd said, “Oz . Surely has to be more .... Not available cos you haven't written letter to Management saying 'why we lost '” (sic)
(with inputs from PTI)
The Michael Clarke-Mickey Arthur Bombshell
First Published: March 11, 2013, 4:30 pm