New Zealand in Australia 2016-17 December 3, 2016

Smith critical of Maxwell's disrespect


Glenn Maxwell has been fined by Australia's team leadership group © AFP

Australia's captain Steven Smith has criticised Glenn Maxwell and the team leadership group have fined him an undisclosed amount for comments deemed disrespectful to the team's gloveman and Victoria captain Matthew Wade.

In what Smith clearly hoped would be the end of an unseemly episode that began when ESPNcricinfo reported Maxwell had tried to leave the Bushrangers for New South Wales outside the approved window to do so, he explained that he had told Maxwell and the team as a whole that more respect had to be shown for each other. Smith also declined to confirm whether Maxwell would be playing on Sunday, stating only that he was "available for selection".

"Everyone was disappointed in his comments, I've expressed that to him myself and spoke to the team," Smith said on Saturday ahead of the first Chappell-Hadlee ODI. "One of our values is respect, having respect for your team-mates, your opposition, your fans, your media.

"I thought what he said was very disrespectful to a team-mate and his Victorian captain. The leadership group got together and we decided to fine Glenn, we thought that was sufficient punishment, so we've gone down that path. I was disappointed with the comments that he made."

Maxwell had stated that it was "painful" batting behind Wade in the Victorian Shield batting order, among sundry other comments about his uncertain role in the state team and his ambitions to return to the Test team. "Wadey was pretty disappointed as well like all the other players," Smith said. "I talk about a respect for your team-mates and particularly the captain of your state, and he was disappointed.

"[Maxwell] was a little bit shattered with what he said. I don't think he thought the words came out the way they actually did, but we've moved on from that now, we've fined him and expressed our disappointment, but moving on and trying to focus on this game tomorrow."

Smith is believed to have been one of the players Maxwell canvassed about moving to NSW during the limited-overs leg of the Sri Lanka tour earlier in the year, but he was not interested in re-opening the discussion on Saturday. "I'm not really concerned with that right now," Smith said. "It's about getting through this season, and if things happen like that at the end of the season we'll deal with that then."

Maxwell's sanction did not meet with universal approval. Notably he was supported in his words by Mitchell Johnson, who has been a critic of punitive action against players since he was one of the four players suspended from a Test match in India three years ago - something the coach Darren Lehmann also criticised at the time.

Turning his attention to New Zealand, Smith said the combination of cagey experience and pace-filled youth in the visitors' bowling line-up would have to be watched closely. "They've got some quality players in their line-up, a lot of the time they bat around Kane Williamson, he's the glue in their middle order," he said.

"They've got some dangerous players up top in Guptill or Latham if he plays up top. They've got some experience in their bowling line-up in Southee and Boult and some pace in this young fella I've heard about, Ferguson. They're a quality team and we're going to have to be at our best."

One figure Smith is eager to command once more is the fast man Pat Cummins, making his latest return to the team amid a string of injuries. "He bowled pretty quick in the nets yesterday, he bowled beautifully in the Matador Cup at the start of the season, and he's got that x-factor about him," Smith said. "He bowls with great pace and good aggression and I think he'll complement the other quicks really well and hopefully have an impact in this series."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mustaf5012304 on December 7, 2016, 8:00 GMT

    Maxwell should be batting in front of him he is an amazing batsmen with a good strike-rate cmon smithy

  • Simon on December 7, 2016, 6:42 GMT

    Mad_Hamish... So he can score 12 runs of 10 balls, that's hardly useful when he has 30 overs to bat and support Smith at the other end. As for your argument about Wade it doesn't make sense. Wade has been promoted to the team because he's a wicketkeeper who can bat with a partner and then also score 11 off 6. Also if you think Maxwells' bowling is up to scratch then we really have big problems looking for a slow bowler!

  • sa1coe6872683 on December 6, 2016, 13:41 GMT

    Anyone who had to listen to Wade carry on on the stump mic in the ODI series in South Africa, will understand why Maxwell finds it hard to stand him.

  • Manesh on December 6, 2016, 8:09 GMT

    very funny to see Australian players against each other. There will be more when any one of them write a book on these incidents - just like Clarke did.

  • Hamish on December 5, 2016, 23:12 GMT

    @INSULT_2_INJURY if you want to compare them for one dayers look at their strike rates. Maxwell sr 125 average 33, Smith sr 87 iirc average 43. Maxwell's record in one dayers and 20-20 gets him a long way off a footnote. His shield average last season was about double Wade's so why has Wade been promoted above him and White? Is that a sign that Wade is all for the team? If Maxwell wanting to bat higher is all selfishness why isn't Wade being penalized for promoting himself? By batting lower you also come in during situations where the thing to do for the team is to hit out immediately. Smith shelving the bowling has more to do with his bowling not making the grade than it does showing dedication to the team, bowling average 53 in first class cricket.

  • Deep on December 5, 2016, 17:58 GMT

    That's great news for all opponents of Australia. Maxwell is a very destructive batsmen.

  • carl on December 5, 2016, 15:02 GMT

    this whole thing has been way over-reported, what he says is correct, how he went about it isn't, im sure theres no bad feelings between players, coaches, selectors, he's actually expressing a real desire to represent his country at the top level, with much pride im sure, if only some other players in recent times showed such determination - preferably with the bat or bal. put him in the starting 11 against the kiwi's please

  • Simon on December 5, 2016, 6:38 GMT

    Mad_Hamish, let it go mate. Maxwell is a footnote in Aus cricketing history. There are far better players who've been given far fewer chances. Not to mention they'll play for the team. Maxwell's desire to do everything his way included trying to move states outside the window. That's typical of a guy who has had it all his way and now when guidelines for selection are put on him, he throws the toys! The simple response to any perceived slight is to prove critics wrong, but his last 2 games with total 48 @ 12 and 1/76 isn't exactly convincing anyone that he is being hardly done by. If he's batting too low he should end up not out more often. Smith is the epitome of the free spirit who listened and shelved the bowling, batted for the team and kept his style and moved up the order as his consistency grew. Maxwell isn't a patch on that....never was...never will be!

  • Hamish on December 5, 2016, 4:13 GMT

    Those commenting on Maxwell being inconsistent might want to consider that he's got a higher first class batting average than Wade or Maddinson who made the test team and has a better rate of making 100s than Wade 5 from 75 innings compared to 9 from 150. As far as ODIs goes 61 innings 1783 runs @33.26 SR 125.74 1 100 and 13 50s is pretty damned good. Far better than a '1 in 10 innings', it's tough to make 100s from 5 or below and Maxwell has played 55 of his 61 innings at 5 or below

  • Hamish on December 5, 2016, 3:30 GMT

    Also how is Maxwell wanting to bat ahead of Wade selfish but Wade promoting himself over Maxwell and White not selfish?

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