Former Australian coach John Buchanan accuses Michael Clarke of disrespecting baggy green culture
Former Australian coach John Buchanan has criticised outgoing Test skipper Michael Clarke for not paying respect to the baggy green culture, ESPNCricinfo reports. The 62-year-old thus joined the likes of former players Andrew Symonds and Matthew Hayden who have been, in the midst of all the tributes pouring in for one of Australia’s greatest Test batsmen, having a different say on the matter.
Buchanan is one of Australia’s most successful coaches having led them to victories in the 2003 and 2007 World Cup tournaments and holds the record for most victories at the quadrennial event with 23 wins. He also has three Ashes series victory to his credit during his eight-year spell, a Test series victory in India which came after a wait of 36 years and his Test record included a world-record 16 consecutive match victories.
Clarke made his international debut in all three formats under the Queenslander and played four years under him before Buchanan stepped down from his role as Australian coach after the 2007 World Cup triumph. He has opened up on his opinion of Clarke who he feels didn’t quite understand and fit in with the mindset expected of an Australian Test cricketer.
"Players like Steve Waugh, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting and others really tried to make the baggy green culture something special but I could sense it was under threat and under Michael's captaincy I can sense it has disappeared a bit and that disappointed me," Buchanan told News Ltd, as reported by ESPNCricinfo.
"I can remember guys like [Matthew] Hayden and [Justin] Langer sitting him down in a corner and trying to get him to understand what we were trying to achieve," he said. "There were times when I felt Michael did not understand or did not want to understand."
Buchanan’s comments follow similar claims by Hayden that Clarke had once threatened to hand back his baggy green if he was forced to field at bat-pad. He also said that Clarke’s strong opinions had often got under the skin of fellow players, including himself.
Symonds had also criticised his former close friend saying that Clarke was not a “natural leader.”
Current Australian coach Darren Lehmann, whose position is also under threat following the Ashes debacle, has thrown his weight behind Clarke saying that the critics should recognise Clarke’s contributions for Australia.