Former Australia captain Michael Clarke slammed journalist Gerard Whateley on Wednesday, calling him “nothing more than a headline-chasing coward”. Clarke’s remarks came after Whateley, on his radio show on SEN, called the former batsman a “great climate denier” and blamed him for not being able to understand the problem in Australian cricket. The journalist’s remarks came after Clarke slammed Australia’s non-aggression pact in a radio interview on Tuesday.
In a tweet, Clarke said that the current world no. 1 team, likely hinting at India, is not playing to be liked, but to be respected. “Finally, Mr. Wheatley, if you think that the current No 1 team in the world of cricket right now puts being liked as of higher importance than being respected and playing to win inside the rules of our game, then you’re as delirious as you are ill-informed,” Clarke said.
The former batsman slammed the journalist for trying to insinuate that he was at “fault” for the ball tampering episode. “I refer to your “read radio piece today” where you attacked my leadership, my integrity, my opinion on Australian Cricket needing to play tough but fair cricket and your statement that the ball tampering issue of earlier this year (some three years after my retirement) was my fault,” he said.
— Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) 28 November 2018
Clarke further went on to list a few facts. He said that he took Australia from the No. 5 position to the highest-ranked team within 18 months in the longest format, and added that he always played by the rules of the sport. “In the process of getting to number 1, I played to win, but played by the rules of the game and to a similar level of aggression to the other international teams I played against,” he wrote.
He further added: “For Gerard Wheatley – to insinuate that I am responsible for the ball tampering issue makes him nothing more than a headline-chasing coward.”
Speaking to a reporter from Macquarie Sports Radio on Tuesday, the 37-year-old had said that Australian cricket should worry more about being respected than being liked.
“Australian cricket I think need to stop worrying about being liked and start to worry about being respected.
“Play tough Australian cricket, because whether we like it or not, that is in our blood. If you try and walk away from it, yeah we might be the most liked team in the world, we’re not going to win s**t, we won’t win a game. All we can want to do is want to win,” Clarke had said.
In his response to the former skipper’s statements, Whateley said, “In cricketing terms, Michael Clarke is proving himself the last of the great climate deniers. When the cultural review identified the phenomenon of the gilded bubble where elite cricketers existed in a parallel universe blessed with wealth and privilege oblivious to outside perception and influence, it should’ve posted a photo of the former captain at the bottom of the page.”