I was slightly late out of the cot this morning, and a combination of a late rise, bin day and a deposit left by an incontinent cat meant I didn’t manage to get to Cricinfo before it was time to head out on the morning walk.
That’s not a problem, because a glance at the ABC News website and The Australian gave me plenty to ponder on the hour-long lap around the Catalina memorial, the Bowen Jetty and the Yacht Club.
The first of them, unsurprisingly, was the unsurprising news of Mickey Arthur’s unsurprising claim that Michael Clarke believes Shane Watson's faction is a "cancer" within the side (here and here, and undoubtedly in a myriad of other locations). The only thing that was surprising was the suggestion the news was leaked, and it’s a suggestion I’m inclined to give a bit of credence to since it will possibly have a detrimental effect on the sales of Mickey’s autobiography when it eventually appears.
Old news and all that...
What one hopes has happened is that these issues have been raised behind closed doors in the team environment, with the message delivered heavy on the words then, now, continuation and contract terminated.
I’ve no doubt the rift happened, but hopefully the law has been laid down, team procedures and protocols set in place, and anyone not happy with the new regime has been offered an airfare home and N.T.T.A. (Never To Tour Again) status.
Took me all of five minutes to sort that one out, though I did spend a bit more time considering team protocols and such, which was rehashing old ground, since I’ve banged on about the need for a social committee and suggested that there needs to be some sort of sergeant-at-arms fine system put in place.
After the law had been laid down, I’d have liked to see a suggested list of offences and penalties tabled, with suggestions about additions welcomed from the floor. Infringements would involve a certain number of points, with some additional penalty being imposed on whoever’s managed to accumulate the most, and a reduction in your tally if you come up with a really good sledge, chirp or whatever you want to call it.
I’d have Haddin as the sergeant-at-arms, with misdirected throws from the outfield being 10, 20 or 30 point infringements and penalties in place for a variety of serious and non-serious offences, all the way down to dressing room flatulence.
In any case, the Arthur allegations are hardly news.
More interesting, at least from where I’m sitting, is the report (here) that: The International Cricket Council has admitted there were three uncorrected umpiring errors during the Trent Bridge Test but, no doubt to the chagrin of many England commentators, the alleged Ashton Agar "stumping" wasn't one of them.