The tumultuous relationship between Michael Clarke and many of his Australian team-mates has always done the rounds of Australian cricket. Clarke is one divisive figure in the dressing room, and his new autobiography gives an explosive account of the rather turbulent times he had to face while dealing with many of his colleagues.
Controversial all-rounder Andrew Symonds, for instance, was always in the thick of controversies throughout his career, and despite the explosive talents which he possessed, he could never realise his potential owing to the frequent bouts of trouble he got into.
Clarke has given a very passionate account of the dressing room scenarios during his time as captain. This in many ways is an apt reflection of the man himself, who struggled to get his due credit right until the end of his career.
The right-hander revealed that he had always been in the shadows of 'big figures' like Neil D'Costa, and then Shane Warne. His relationship with Symonds was tricky at the outset, but they got closer when they became the core of the Australian team – so much so that when the burly right-hander was threatened with being sent home from the tour of England in 2005 after he turned up drunk in an ODI against Bangladesh, Clarke took his side and said that even he would quit if Symonds was shunted out.
Further, he revealed that despite not being entirely convinced about the racial slur during the infamous Monkeygate scandal in 2008, he backed Symonds after the Queenslander said that he was sick and tired of the Indians getting away with almost anything. The repercussions of the incident were felt later too, as Symonds’ career stalled, while Clarke was appointed the vice-captain of the team.
In the following tour to West Indies, Clarke spoke to Symonds about his hopes of leading the Australian Cricket Team.
"You'd make a great captain Symmo, but what do you want me to do about it?" Clarke replied. "You should go and talk to the selectors about it, throw your hat in the ring", he further said.
However, Symonds later had an extended drinking session during the tour, and in a bizarre turn of events poured a drink over Clarke's head. This was when their relationship snapped, and they have barely spoken since.