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Hussey tells of split in Australia camp

ESPNcricinfo staff

September 23, 2013

Comments: 113 | Text size: A | A

Michael Hussey is the center of attention in the dressing room, Australia v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sydney, 4th day, January 6, 2013
Michael Hussey enjoyed the celebrations in the rooms after his final Test but what followed led to divisions in the Australian camp © Getty Images
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Michael Hussey has revealed in a new book that his failure to attend a boat party after his final Test contributed to a split in the Australian camp. An extract from Hussey's new book, Underneath the Southern Cross, was published in News Ltd newspapers on Sunday and outlined the events surrounding a pre-planned team party on James Packer's boat to celebrate the end of the summer following the Sydney Test against Sri Lanka in January.

Hussey had announced prior to the Test that it would be his last, although that was not known at the time when captain Michael Clarke organised the boat trip, months in advance. Because children were not allowed on the boat for safety reasons, Hussey and his family did not attend and in the weeks that followed, rumours began to circulate of a rift between Hussey and Clarke.

However, Hussey said while some members of the Test team, notably Shane Watson, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon, expressed concerns that Hussey was staying behind at the team hotel instead of attending the boat party, he himself understood that the situation could not have been predicted. Hussey said he spoke to team manager Gavin Dovey to explain that while he wanted the team to go on the boat trip, he intended to stay at the hotel with his family.

"All this was pretty straightforward to me," Hussey wrote. "I said to Gavin, 'I just want some hours to celebrate with the boys in the dressing room. I don't want to stop them from having the celebration on the boat'. I said, 'I reckon the boat will be great for the boys, but after we have our time in the dressing room as a team, I'll have my time with the family'.

"We had a fantastic time in the dressing room. The team had organised for John Williamson to come in and sing True Blue to us. It was a live-in-person way of calling the team song. Afterwards, the team presented me with a watch and had organised another gift. A few people spoke some really nice words, and then the time came for everyone to go: the team to the boat, and me to my family.

"When we got back to the hotel, the boys had to be downstairs in half an hour to assemble for the boat trip. A few of the support staff had children, so we were all going to meet at the mezzanine and have some pizzas. Unfortunately, when they came down to leave, some of the boys didn't know about my conversation with Gavin and assumed I was going on the boat.

"Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon came up to the mezzanine and said, 'What's going on? Aren't you coming?' I said, 'I'm staying with the family, but I want you to go, you'll have a great time'. Sidds, who was now a teetotaller, decided to stay at the hotel. I talked Nathan into going. 'It'll be a great experience, you're part of the team going forward, go on, have a good time'."

However, Hussey said the next morning Dovey explained to him that some of the players were disappointed the team had not stayed with Hussey while others believed they should have gone on the boat, leading to a division in the group. Hussey reiterated that he thought the boat party was a good idea for the team and that he had no complaints, but spoke to Watson and Siddle to clarify the situation.

"Sidds was fine. He said it was a bit disappointing that the whole team didn't stay with me, but he accepted it," Hussey said. "Watto was not so accepting. He was adamant that the team should have changed its plans and stuck with me. I kept telling him, 'Look, I had no problems, it was fine'. It shouldn't have been an issue."

But an email that circulated in the following weeks alleged a rift between Hussey and Clarke had been the issue, which Hussey denied, saying that Clarke had been "very empathetic". Hussey also wrote in his new book that he felt he had been responsible for the now infamous scuffle between Clarke and Simon Katich after the SCG Test of 2008-09.

Hussey was in charge of the Australian team song and determining when it would be sung following their win over South Africa, and Clarke had asked him if it could be completed by midnight. Clarke had organised a bar for the post-dressing room celebrations, although Hussey did not know this, and as the evening dragged on with the South African players also sharing a drink with the Australians, time started to get away from Hussey.

"Every half-hour or so, [team manager] Steve Bernard kept coming up to me and saying, 'Huss, when are you going to sing the song?' I was having a good time, and in the mood to sit for a while, and said, 'Brutus, every time you ask me, I'm going to add another 15 minutes on to it'," Hussey wrote. "I didn't realise that Michael Clarke had organised a bar for the post-dressing room celebrations. Feeling under time pressure, he was asking Steve to get me to hurry up and sing the song.

"I wished in hindsight that he'd come up to me and said, 'Huss, can we sing the song, we need to hurry up and go'. I would have been more than happy to sing the song straight away and let them go. While I was completely oblivious to Pup's mounting panic, Kato was on the other side of the room with a clear view of Pup talking to Steve Bernard and getting frustrated.

"Then, out of nowhere they came together in the middle of the room. There was a big confrontation and I thought, what the hell is going on? This had come out of nowhere. We'd all been having a laugh and a chat. It got broken up pretty quickly. Kato was put back down in his seat and Pup left the dressing room altogether. We were all in a bit of shock. I certainly didn't know what the hell had gone on. Kato was very apologetic.

"It was the first Test match for Doug Bollinger and Andrew McDonald -- who had, coincidentally, replaced Andrew Symonds, who'd played his last Test in Melbourne. Kato was saying to each of them, 'I'm really sorry for what happened. I just want you to enjoy this win, I'm really sorry, I don't want to ruin your first Test match'. Andrew McDonald broke the ice beautifully. He said, 'Don't worry, mate, this happens all the time in Victoria'. Everyone burst out laughing and cheering.

"We all started drinking again and didn't think about it. I said, 'We'd better get this song done.' Half an hour later I called it, and asked Brute, 'Where's Pup?' 'He's gone." I felt completely responsible. I felt it was a black mark against my name that one of our brothers was missing for the team song. We'd won the Test match together, but he was gone. I felt dreadful about it, and the next morning tried calling him but couldn't get through. I sent him messages. He eventually got back and said it wasn't my fault, don't worry, he'd sort out his differences with Kato."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by hhillbumper on (September 26, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

Well who would have thought it. Soon we will hear the riveting tale of how someone once abused their baggy green and that is the reason for the down turn of Aussie cricket. The Yorkshire team of the sixties could not stop fighting each other but won. All teams do fine while they are winning it is only when you start losing that things go wrong. Never mind though in the media out pourings it would appear that Aus have won every test this year and if sound bites counted thent he Ashes are yours already

Posted by paapam on (September 25, 2013, 19:33 GMT)

As captain Clarke should have gone up to Hussey himself and not sent Bernard. Hussey was already a senior team member by then and largely responsible for what little success Clarke had enjoyed as Captain. Clarke has an attitude problem and is a poor manager of men. Let him go through a lean trot batting-wise and we'll see the cracks in the team resurface.

Posted by pat_one_back on (September 25, 2013, 6:22 GMT)

Really is nothing to see here but regardless good luck to Huss with his book sales, for once his timing is off as runs for sporting books are generally found pre-Xmas and Father's Day!

Posted by cricket_ahan on (September 25, 2013, 4:40 GMT)

What childish behaviour... are some of these team members really thirty-somethings? Watto's lack of cander and temperament seems to seep through in these comments, while Clarke clearly seems to have some communication issues of his own. Poor Huss, always the team man, feel sorry that he had to be in the middle of it all. Maybe the ACB can stop T20 cricket and just play dressing room clips to earn entertainment revenue on the side?

Posted by smudgeon on (September 25, 2013, 4:33 GMT)

Krishnaprasad Padmanaban you're really cherry-picking your incidents here to back your filmsy theory. Symonds was a train-wreck waiting to happen, and for most of his career was under Ponting. Are we therefore to blame Ponting for Symonds' trouble with drinking?

Kitschiguy: best post of the lot.

Posted by smudgeon on (September 25, 2013, 3:44 GMT)

Where's the story here? Perhaps the headline should be "Breaking news: not everyone gets along!" with a subtitle of "Great bloke, former cricketer writes boring book". Yawn.

Posted by   on (September 25, 2013, 1:57 GMT)

This really doesn't put Clarke in good light. And it also makes me feel that Hussey is not as innocent and pure as we have perceived him to be all these years. Still a fantastic batsman and a great person

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (September 24, 2013, 22:55 GMT)

What amazing stories Hussey has to tell! Clarke is one of the most divisive Oz captains of modern times. We knew about him and Watson but Hussey has really blown the lid off here,

Posted by Guernica on (September 24, 2013, 11:07 GMT)

Enforced team-building/bonding activities are just the pits. It hasn't stopped either. I heard Lehmann makes one team member tell a joke to the rest of the team before each day's play. What next? Someone has a sulk because they don't want to do it? How about just letting people concentrate on their cricket? Team spirit is obviously important, but it's what you do on the field that builds that, along with talking about the game afterwards.

Posted by brusselslion on (September 24, 2013, 10:57 GMT)

Most sports biographies/ diaries are pretty dire, but if this is representative of the rest of the book then we may have reached a new all-time low.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (September 24, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

There seems to be some big communication issues here and it seems that Michael Clarke is not a good communicator. Michael Hussey seems to have hit the nail on the head here and his suggestion that he felt he had to retire secretly as otherwise he'd have been dropped proved true when he was axed from the ODI team in spite of being available.

Posted by Nerk on (September 24, 2013, 9:13 GMT)

This is the problem with Aussie cricket... There is too much effort going into post match celebrations!

Posted by   on (September 24, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

This is more akin to a diary from a schoolgirl and her tales of angst where she couldn't go to the Boat Party and nobody would sing the Song! YAWN. If such things are fragmenting team spirit then this is indeed a big worry for CA. Get the beers in, get the oppo in, get the umpires in, have a bash, sing some songs, go find a boat (or don't, who honestly cares?) and get on with it.

Posted by monobrowed on (September 24, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

I don't have much time for Clarke but how is this his fault!?

No matter how much of a "good bloke" Hussey might be, you cannot seriously tell me that Hussey didn't know about the bar being booked and therefore delayed the song. Come on guys, we've all done similar to a team mate at some point.

And as for the boat party, Hussey would have the rest of his life to spend with his family, could he not have just put himself out for one night as it had been organised!? Siddle was going and he doesn't even drink. The "team" should have been persuading Hussey to go on the boat, not the team to stay, even if he only showed his face for an hour or so.

Sounds to me like Hussey could be awkward at times and had Clarke issues and as a result it cost Katich his test place. Guilt anyone......

Posted by spacebeagle on (September 24, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

Ha Ha! As an Englishman and a Lancastrian I'd like to thank Cricket Australia for their ability to see the bigger picture. Your loss is our gain. When you look at the problems Australia have had with opening batsmen recently and their inability to build an innings or a partnership, reading this makes me laugh.

Kat I have no doubt we will win again in Australia, largely because Australia remain unable to consistently post match winning scores. Then add in the ever present possibility of a 1990s style England batting collapse. 3-0 England with draws in Brisbane & Perth.

Posted by Pathiyal on (September 24, 2013, 6:29 GMT)

Most of us know who Michael Hussey (professionally and a bit personally). He is a genuine reasonable guy and a fantastic team man. but the media always put Michael Clarke as not so very transparant with his team mates..his talks after a loss always add up to that. Having said that he is one of the most capable men in the field ever.

Posted by satishchandar on (September 24, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

Pity Clarke.. He planned something along with other stuff during both the occasions and others didn't aid him that well.. On the hindsight, Clarke could have tried to be more flexible on both occasions? Atleast on the second occasion.. Could have well consulted Hussey on his availability before the boat party.. After all, it was all about spending some time with Hussey more than partying together..

Honestly i feel there was a rift between Clarke and Hussey by the sudden announcement of retirement by Hussey when he was in pretty good form(which he is even now) and very fit.. And, the kind of respect Clarke gave to Hussey when he was going back to dressing room after getting out in last innings.. No eye contact between these two seemed very odd for me..

Posted by Mary_786 on (September 24, 2013, 5:42 GMT)

This would have been all fine if they cancelled the boat trip and stayed with hussey, that would have been the best action by Clarke even though I know Huss said he was fine with it, it's more the fact that all the other players wanted to be with Huss on his last night with the team. Hopefully Clarke has learned his lesson and now shines with the youngsters such as Warner, Khawaja, Bird, Starc under his leadership. Also boof being there has helped as Watto is firing and getting along with Clarke now.

Posted by   on (September 24, 2013, 4:39 GMT)

non scence no maturity in michael clarke he should be given some tips by ricky pointing . have we ever heard a fightt between michael bevan and ricky pointing in the 2000 era ? . complete non scence and captaincy going in wrong hands in the australian cricket team

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (September 24, 2013, 4:38 GMT)

Two main incidentes - The Boat Party and The Team Song - Both intended to strengthen team spirit actually had the opposite effect, ha. If such "made up" stuff are spoiling team spirit, you know what to do with them!

Posted by   on (September 24, 2013, 4:20 GMT)

Hussey is a honest man and we have seen it in the field too. CA could have avoided his early retirement that too when he was playing in prime form.

Posted by Biggus on (September 24, 2013, 4:06 GMT)

All a bit silly really. I've played in plenty of cricket teams that contained players I wasn't all that fond of and I managed. I would have thought if I was also being paid extremely well to play that would make it even easier.

Posted by nickvegas on (September 24, 2013, 4:01 GMT)

So it's not a lack of talent that is holding the Aussie team back since the retirement of the greats. It's the maturity. Funny, I never thought of Warne, McGrath, Hayden and Punter as being mature, but compared to our current lot, they clearly are. An unhappy team is a losing team.

Posted by millsy24 on (September 24, 2013, 3:01 GMT)

Robert Roemer, you don't have a clue. Fact 1, he is not widely disliked. Fact 2, it wasn't only Clarke that had issues with Symonds. The majority of the team did because he showed up to training and games after being on the drink which was a no no. That's why he got dropped never to be seen again. If you knew any of the current or past players, you would know the truth. I could give you lots of issues, but this isn't the place to do it and I'm not prepared to get anyone into trouble. There have been numerous blow ups, even in our great team of a few years back, but when the team is winning they are swept under the carpet and not played out for everyone to see. Ponting was captain when Katich was sacked, not Clarke. You should find out your facts before you start accusing.

Posted by   on (September 24, 2013, 2:45 GMT)

So this is what ended Katich's career and robbed Australia of an opener that can actually bat and occupy the crease... How ridiculous!

Posted by SouthPaw on (September 24, 2013, 1:15 GMT)

Unbelievable that there were so many undercurrents in the Aussie dressing room!

Posted by   on (September 24, 2013, 1:13 GMT)

@Robert also how do you know the "real truth" I assume you were there and saw it all from a neutral point of view...

Posted by   on (September 24, 2013, 1:11 GMT)

@Robert its convenient for some Ausssies to blame Clarke his had his detractors ever since he was named Pontings heir... Mostly due to his image than anything of substance... What a shame that so much turmoil was caused over a simple misunderstanding... It's unbelievable how childish grown men can be...

Posted by RobTay14 on (September 24, 2013, 0:56 GMT)

this is crazy childish...

Posted by Lahori_Munde on (September 24, 2013, 0:38 GMT)

Clarke seem to be the main culprit here. Based on what Hussey is saying here, Clarke's personality seem to be exactly what Jimmy Anderson had said about him....

Posted by siddhartha87 on (September 24, 2013, 0:34 GMT)

Thank God Arthur is gone! Lehmann is the coolest coach alive and he will change this childish behavior with a few extra beers.

Posted by   on (September 24, 2013, 0:07 GMT)

@Aditya Nataraja - I don't think you meant it but that comment made me burst out laughing. It reminded of those reality TV shows where real three-dimensional people become just "characters" so as to suit the storyline the editors are trying to portray. And reading this article was like watching a reality show - grown men fighting and falling out over silly little things like attending a party or singing a song. And how it implies that a minor character like Kato - who a lot people (well, outside Aus) barely even remember - essentially brought down the Mighty Empire that was Aus cricket. Reality TV editors would kill to be able to portray such a story...

Posted by RJHB on (September 23, 2013, 23:56 GMT)

Gee it's what we've all suspected for quite some time: there are a lot of over sensitive, moody lightweights in the Australian side at the moment. Can't help think that Border, Taylor, Waugh et al would've weeded these timid prunes out, chewed them up and spat them out on the washout pile long ago!

Posted by Dhanno on (September 23, 2013, 23:49 GMT)

thank you for sharing the most imp bits from the book. i guess we all knew clarke has huge ego and he messed up katich's career and with that australian hope for any ashes win (now 3 losses ?). But ya poor huss, he was gonna sell few books, but now that most imp bits are revealed, I will pass on it!

Posted by hoags on (September 23, 2013, 23:43 GMT)

Love the last line. Of course we know he never did sort it with Kato. Far too small minded and petty for that. As a result Aussie dumped their most proven opener in recent years at least a year or 2 early. I cringe whenever i hear him talk about bringing the team together. What he means is my way or the highway and if you dont like it i will pull my weight to destroy your career. Great player but like a lot of greats over the years the self determination required to achieve greatness comes with an unrivalled egotism.

Posted by lebigfella on (September 23, 2013, 23:16 GMT)

Mike Hussey... great cricketer but regales an anecdote that sucks in so many ways... really profound, poignant and, erm, pointlessly pathetic... OK the first two were a tad sarcastic. Sorry Mr Cricket this isn't selling it to us

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (September 23, 2013, 23:07 GMT)

I know this just an excerpt but I hope Hussey's book is more interesting than this. The fight between Katich and Clarke is old news and made both of them look bad - end of story. Personally, find the attention paid to the "boat party" quite embarrassing - sounds like an episode of Days Of Our Lives.

Great post @CapitalMarkets on (September 23, 2013, 14:09 GMT)!

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (September 23, 2013, 22:47 GMT)

Whilst I will probably not get published on this site as an Englishman, I do note that in all personnel disputes around the Aussie team there is one common denominator- Michael Clarke. Is the guy so toxic that everyone fails to get on with him. If I was CA I would ditch him now and get mutual affinity back on board. Jeez!

Posted by OhhhhhMattyMatty on (September 23, 2013, 22:24 GMT)

So more chaos in the Aussie ranks! This is hilarious! Clarke is the most hated man in Australian cricket. No-one wants to play with him or especially socialise with him!

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 22:19 GMT)

Ashes to ashes,dust to dust.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (September 23, 2013, 22:05 GMT)

So many people overlooking the fact that it was five years ago the Katich and Clarke incident. Katich played on got injured against England and missed significant cricket. When he was able to return Ponting was still the captain (not Clarke).Clarke seems to have his faults as most people do but his role in the end of Katich career seems to be over stated.

Posted by plow on (September 23, 2013, 21:31 GMT)

this is laughable sand pit stuff. Reminds me of when I was 14..

I cant believe these guys are actually good at cricket, underneath they are just kids.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 20:59 GMT)

Of course Clarke was responsible - he is widely disliked and not for no reason; Hussey is just trying to be the consummate gentleman and take responsibility for what he need not take responsibility for. Clarke has had rifts with Huss, Katto, Symonds, Watson - and others that surely simply stay quiet. Disappointed Huss was not being totally honest and instead trying to smooth things over. Hopefully the *real* truth about Clarke comes out after he retires.

Posted by Rowayton on (September 23, 2013, 20:50 GMT)

As an Aussie, this is just embarrassing. They sound like teenage girls on the bus. "So I was like... and she was like... and then he saw her talking to... and I was so cheesed off." Get a grip. And interestingly, what other sport has a 'rule' that you have to drink from 6 to midnight after a game? Most professional sports would suspend you for that, not encourage it.

Posted by bluhunter on (September 23, 2013, 20:44 GMT)

This is the kind of stuff we fought over at nursery school.

Posted by BDibbs on (September 23, 2013, 20:33 GMT)

Is this the senior australian side he's talking about or an U12's side?

Posted by sonicattack on (September 23, 2013, 20:10 GMT)

I can't believe that this is serious! A fall out over the timing of someone singing (or not singing ) the team song? Australia really do need to get a grip!

Posted by regofpicton on (September 23, 2013, 20:10 GMT)

Well said Sir Ivor!

So it all comes down to a "safety issue", where the only poeple allowed on the boat trip are men who have been drinking for several hours. Yes, I can see how that works.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 19:08 GMT)

I don't understand why people assume things without much of thinking! Plz ask yourself did you do the right things every time and to everyone? Answer is NO.We are not perfect! I heard Clarke said he understand that he can't find love from everyone so better to play cricket and score runs rather than find love! And you earn respect by scoring runs thats what he done recently. And if compare him great captains like MSD everybody know how his favorites get games others not,same goes to ganguly we know how punter behave in field! Nobody perfect and every captain has their fav team which they want to lead and if clarke find katich is not needed then its done as he is the boss. By the way for all katich lovers- he never was a good player nor he will he is a average one.thats fact!

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 17:38 GMT)

I somehow believe Clarke is going un noticed by Aussie administrators with all these recent controversies and overall downfall in Australian cricket. Iam just doing a chronology of historical events to analyze the situation,

1. Andrew Symonds was unceremoniously asked to return to Australia in the middle of a series and was later sacked, Clarke was interim captain during this controversy. 2. Mik Hussey incident as narrated above, Clarke was the captain. 3. Katich incident, Clare was the captain. 4. Shane Watson and other cricketers banned for a game in India, Clarke was the captain. 5. Pub brawl involving Warner, clarke was the captain. Clarke as a Leader, does the team feel motivated under his leadership ? this is a mistry for public as we cannot get dressing room information, but, looking at series of incidents, something definitely is associated with clarke's behavior as a leader, his ability to deal with player is in question. Hope Aus board looking in to this point of view.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 17:25 GMT)

why all this animosity towards clarke? I think he is a breath of fresh air after Ponting.. at least he is trying all the time to find a way to win..not just letting the game fizzle on while he chewed his fingernails. some of his team ought to grow up and show respect.Katich was certainly not the injured party in this incident why should Clarke apologise to him

Posted by jimbond on (September 23, 2013, 16:54 GMT)

This only reinforces my view that Clarke is not captaincy material- even though he is a very good batsman. And I still think that an Australian team with Hussey and Katich- would still be among the best teams in world cricket now.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 16:45 GMT)

Was always a firm believer that Pup was the classic middle order bat, that never could make a good leader even though CA insisted on grooming him into the role. With the sudden departure of Symonds that actually opened the can of worms and exposed the extreme discipline of the management, all somewhat lead to the shattering of the most invincible team in world cricket. Katich and Hussey actually deserved more that what they got eventually leading to the current state of affairs. Clarke deserves a break from this all... move on CA Watson/Bailey good choice of leaders; and ah! don't waste your time on Warner...

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (September 23, 2013, 16:43 GMT)

My goodness me, shaking my head. It's nothing short of foolishness to think that this caused a 'split' in the team. Hussey's retirement is actually nearly 12 months ago now, and after a bad tour of india, homeworkgate, mickey arthur's sacking, the ashes, to talk about a stupid little boatride as the cause of a split in the Australian side is utter rubbish.

Posted by kartcric on (September 23, 2013, 16:24 GMT)

Hussey is awesome.To feel responsible for a rift between two teammates ,which he might not be actually responsible,(As said by Clarke)speaks of his calibre.He is my favourite Australian cricketer.It needs an heart to accept like that.

Posted by --.-- on (September 23, 2013, 15:49 GMT)

Oh no ! Those who did it should be abashed of themselves. We abhor such people responsible for it. Whoever they may be. I just loathe them. Hussey is a renowned player. There's no doubt about integrity of Mr. Cricket. I wonder, how abominably he would be looking at those players. CA should take measures so as to such incidents abate in future. Also, someone should abdicate the throne whose responsibility it was to take care of such matters.

Posted by shillingsworth on (September 23, 2013, 15:35 GMT)

I've always found all the false mystique built up around an odd shaped green cap and latterly a 'team song' somewhat baffling. I hoped to gain some deeper understanding from this article. I didn't.

Posted by mrmonty on (September 23, 2013, 15:24 GMT)

Seems like there is more to the Clarke-Katich saga. If not, Hussey should have brought them together for a beer and cleared things up; instead writing about it 5 years after the fact.

Posted by cricketfanwrites on (September 23, 2013, 15:00 GMT)

Well said CapitalMarkets. Hus and Co. is not longer there for Pup to frustrate himself. CA is in disarray since Pup was GIVEN the captaincy. I long for the good old days. He is a VERY talented cricketer. That does not mean he has what it takes (leadership qualities) to put Aus back on top.

Posted by CapitalMarkets on (September 23, 2013, 14:09 GMT)

We all know that misunderstandings occur when alcohol starts to flow. What are the lessons here? Firstly, always communicate face to face and, if you can't do that use the telephone. If you can't get through, send a text. Never send someone else to say your words for you. Second, be honest and don't communicate one thing when actually you really mean something else. Thirdly, be quick to forgive and quicker to apologise, as these are expressions of enlightened self-interest. Fourth, keep a sense of proportion; there are always bigger issues in life than these. Fifth keep humble and work on your weaknesses; easier said than done. Sixth, don't assume that everyone wants to socialise; some people are a lot more comfortable in their own company and shouldn't be forced out of their comfort zone. Seventh, remember that some people value their family life even more highly than your friendship.

Posted by landl47 on (September 23, 2013, 13:56 GMT)

An unusually frank look at life behind the scenes in the Australian camp. I admire Hussey's honesty (and he doesn't sugar-coat his own role in these stories), but I imagine some of the Australian players and administrators won't be too happy.

There are some posters here who need to get it into their heads that Hussey retired because he wanted to spend mire time with his young family (the boat story indicates how strong his feelings are on this). He was 37 when he retired, so he'd played all over the world for many years. Saying he shouldn't have retired is just foolish nonsense from people who seem to think cricket is more important than family. It isn't.

Posted by Front-Foot-Sponge on (September 23, 2013, 13:47 GMT)

Katich is still the best currently playing test opener for Australia. Hussey is a modest and non-confrontational guy who Australia would love to see still playing. It matters none, after the England selections today, it is quite obvious they will get smashed while visiting Australia this summer!

Posted by sweetspot on (September 23, 2013, 13:46 GMT)

Poor Hussey! Mr. Cricket and gentleman to the core. No wonder he doesn't want any of this anymore. He looks wonderful in CSK! We're going to keep him forever!

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (September 23, 2013, 13:44 GMT)

Oh no. This is tragic stuff. Huge issue this one. Seismic stuff. Earth shattering revelations. No chance of healing these deep scars etc.

Posted by venkatesh018 on (September 23, 2013, 13:24 GMT)

Dropping Katich was the worst decision an Aussie captain has taken in the last decade. It decimated the Aussie top order irretrievably. Clarke put self above country and Aussies are suffering to this day for that.

Posted by derpherp on (September 23, 2013, 13:22 GMT)

Why do people seem to think there is 'more' to this story? It is not important and has just been hyped up by the media to make it into a newsworthy story. The Katich thing, irrelevant now as it happened 5 YEARS AGO. Not important people, almost sounds like an escape goat....

Posted by LeftBrain on (September 23, 2013, 13:16 GMT)

Really, team split due to THIS? and I thought that sometimes my 4 year old doesnt have sense of things around him!!!!!!!

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 13:15 GMT)

Hmm! These are petty controversies! Hussey is going to have a tough time selling his book.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 13:09 GMT)

Huss, not sure what was the reason for your retirement but it was not fair to ppl. like me who simply love the game. CA first deprived us by witnessing your talent when it was rightly due and now your controversial retirement made the game orphan. May be you don't need cricket but we, the fans and Cricket itself needs you Mr. Hussy. In modern day cricket there is no one else who could match your class. Its truly a privilege to seeing you batting.

Posted by KingOwl on (September 23, 2013, 12:52 GMT)

Adrenalin, super egos, alcohol - not a nice mix. Even the most united of groups can get into arguments, fights. With this lot - well, not a surprise!!

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 12:51 GMT)

hussey left test team even when he was prime form.he is batting like a newcomer in cl for csk.he is direct opposite of sachin in retiring issues.he should have put his personal feuds with clarke aside and helped his country salvage some pride .australia are winnless in last 9 tests and lost 2 series 4-0 to india and 3-0 to england. he should still consider coming out of retirement or I see australis slippibg below their current rank of 6th in tests after england finish ashes with them.country should always be priority rather than individual preference.

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (September 23, 2013, 12:45 GMT)

There's much more to it than just this surely? Michael Hussey must have been furious that short-format-specialists were invading the test team and decided it was time to go. Katich (or Kato as he seems to be known) was the only test-standard opener left in Australia and was worried about who his partner would be. "You accept who you get or don't play!" he was told. The rest is history, and so is Australian test cricket.

Posted by Dadders on (September 23, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

Jeez, this sounds much like listening to my 11 year old child talking about problems amongst friends at school.

Someone needs to remind them that they are well-paid, PROFESSIONAL sportsmen

Posted by Bonehead_maz on (September 23, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

What had never been anyone's fault is now Mike Husseys ! Wohoooo we have a culprit - too funny

Posted by PACERONE on (September 23, 2013, 12:34 GMT)

It would of been better for Australia if Hussey had announced that he will only play at home instead of retiring.He would make such a big difference in the Australian batting line up.But who knows,the people in authority would not want that.Like the way he places emphasis on hitting the ball on the ground and into gaps.

Posted by rajpan on (September 23, 2013, 12:31 GMT)

Cricket is no more a sporting activity. It is more of a "day in office". No point in trying to keep 15 office goers together 24 hrs a day. They should be free to do what they want after the office hours.

Posted by AltafPatel on (September 23, 2013, 12:20 GMT)

Seeing Hussey's form in CPL and IPL, it seems he took retirement too early leaving the team in uncertainty for winning single test match. 4-0 in India, 3-0 in Ashes (almost 4-0 !).

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

It all sounds very childish - boat party and singing a team song. Why cant the team be adults about these issues?

Posted by T-800 on (September 23, 2013, 11:52 GMT)

I have to confess being an Indian myself, that all this is way beyond me. From what little I can understand from this,the jist of it seems the Aussie team split (or split more) because Hussey failed to turn up at a boat party. Looking at this from the outside, it seems strange to me. However, whatever the issues are I hope they get sorted out. Australia has always been a fantastic team and the world of cricket seems diminished and really missing something because the Aussies have not been up to the mark lately. Same goes for another side namely Pakistan but those are due to different reasons. Here is wishing both these teams a better future

Posted by Sachit1979 on (September 23, 2013, 11:52 GMT)

That was all past but now the point is that if Clarke wants to save his face in upcoming Ashes then he should apologize to Kato and bring him back.

Posted by tearawayquick on (September 23, 2013, 11:49 GMT)

Now along with Coach,Asst coach,bowling coach,fielding coach,Physio, Psychiatrist and analyst Aus should also have a song writer and may be a teacher to remind them of thier homeworks!!

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 11:44 GMT)

what you guys need to do is keep a good old prayer meeting and pray one for another,,(smile)

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 11:23 GMT)

and as you have it, Kato was dropped by Clarke righto?

Posted by PSSidhu on (September 23, 2013, 10:58 GMT)

Australia lost that series 2-1 to South Africa. What were you people celebrating for?

Posted by PrasPunter on (September 23, 2013, 10:58 GMT)

@gsingh7, as an aside, Aus beat SL 1-0 away, WI 2-0 away, drew SA 1-1 , beat ind 4-0 at home and lost to Eng 0-3 away. Even though we lost to Eng, we gave a pretty good account of ourselves over there .

india are yet to win a series against SL away for more than 20 years, beat WI only 1-0 away, drew with SA 1-1 in a 3 match series, beat Aus 4-0 at home and lost to Eng both home and away.

So there is literally very litter to differentiate between the test-teams performances. All this even when Aus is at its lowest ebb.

Get out of the emphasis on the rankings and face some facts.

Posted by Clyde on (September 23, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

This sort of thing happens not only in Victoria but all over the place. Hussey demonstrates just this, and that is a service. The important thing is to play cricket, a fact that in recent history in Australia has been forgotten. There are laughs and lessons from and at behind-the-scenes, but that's all.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (September 23, 2013, 10:38 GMT)

Mike Hussey selfless to the end even in his autobiography he is clearing the air in an effort to increase team harmony. The bloke has 4 kids loved cricket but to play for Australia he had to endlessly travel, made the right decision for him and his family and people question his motives. Some sportsman arent great blokes but no-one could ever question Mike Hussey character but some people just would rather make something out of nothing.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (September 23, 2013, 10:38 GMT)

Well, bearing in mind that Australia has been facing the top teams for about 12 months and another 6 months after this, it's no wonder they havn't won much expecially with an inexperienced side. We have faced SA, Ind in Ind, Eng in Eng then SA in SA next year. England have faced NZ 5 times during this period.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 10:37 GMT)

Hmm! These are petty controversies! Hussey is going to have a tough time selling his book.

Posted by muzika_tchaikovskogo on (September 23, 2013, 10:23 GMT)

I think Australian fans are unduly critical of Clarke. Just what can any captain do with a line up that has only one world class batsman, that too with an increasingly failing back?

Posted by Little_Aussie_Battler on (September 23, 2013, 10:03 GMT)

Not exactly news. It was widely reported at the time of a scuffle between Katich and Clarke after a Sydney test.

Clarke should never have been made captain, we have been losing ever since.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 9:43 GMT)

OMG, these are hardly major issues! Get over it. Sounds all very petty.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 9:37 GMT)

@gsingh7, if you re-read the article you'd find that the supposed rift occurred after Hussey retired, it wasn't the reason why he did it. He left to be with his family, and after years of toiling in first class cricket, then carrying the national team, he deserved it. Saying that he "should've been selfless" is an oxymoron as that is the perfect word to describe him. True champion.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (September 23, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

Ive heard rumours that this issue is far deeper than this suggests. Apparently Watto borrowed Clarkes eyeliner &, alas, didnt return it. Indeed it was later revealed, he had lost it & tryed to pretend he had never borrowed it.

Posted by gsingh7 on (September 23, 2013, 8:46 GMT)

wat? retired because of rift? australia need him now that they lost 7 and won 0 tests since he gone. tells u how far australia have fallen. 6th rank in tests and yet to play england again. hussey should have been selfless and helped aus test team. he took the easy route.not good for team aus.

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (September 23, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

@Kelly Powell, ironic but true..

Posted by AllInFairNess on (September 23, 2013, 8:20 GMT)

@Kelly Powell, with the recent pulping and pounding from India and England there were no need of team song per se.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 8:12 GMT)

While a lot is made out of the famed Aussie "toughness" after reading all this , it does seem that it has taken a beating under Clarke's leadership.People are being sent home for not doing "homework", for delays in singing the team song- all this sounds school-boyish stuff. Wonder whether it was the case earlier too under Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting. By the looks of it , it does look that Clarke is not able to get along well with senior players like Watson and Hussey.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 8:10 GMT)

Its all bcoz of team song incident that huss retired suddenly and aussies are still winless in a test running into 9 matches

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 8:10 GMT)

Wow, what a shocker !! Team song not sung on time !! I must get this book if it's full of such explosive insights into the psyche of the Australian cricket team........

Posted by patronpedru on (September 23, 2013, 8:08 GMT)

@Sir_Ivor: Said to perfection. I mean whatever issues i have seen coming up about australian cricket seem very petty and immature. I dont think it was right of M Hussey either to include all such stuff in his book. Was he trying to make up more pages to his book or what.

Posted by punterdgr8 on (September 23, 2013, 7:46 GMT)

dude,these foreigners(to me non-indians);keep everything in their bellies and when they retire they spit it through their autobio's.almost every1 writes his and the excerpts are always a bombshell ;then a pompous launch and then bestsellers although huss,the gentleman,is definitely not one amongst them.clarke has to seriously improve his man-management skills given that he's an exceptional player.punter managed things beautifully in the context that he had so many super egos to confront(manage)with.

Posted by Sir_Ivor on (September 23, 2013, 7:23 GMT)

I always had a lot of regard for Michael Hussey. He was a great cricketer who got his chances late but made the best of them in a way that is seldom seen. He looked honest and mature as well. That is why I feel that he has been brought into this controversy not of his own making. I have always felt from their on field behaviour that Australian cricketers in the last 10 years have not been as grown up as their predecessors. They seem to want to project themselves as great team men yet find it difficult to accept small slip ups from their team members. Also in recent times, many of them have got into problems with drinking. This suggests that the only time they are sober is on the field of play and they look forward to hitting the bar later. I do not think that the likes of Bradman Hasset and Morris were so occupied with revelry and drinking as it is seen in recent times. I feel that the Australians are drinking more than they should be for their good. Maybe that will explain their fall.

Posted by Kitschiguy on (September 23, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

So, umm, ahh, so it was actually about... ummm...

Oh well, nevermind. I know how they feel. Something similar happened to me when I was about six.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (September 23, 2013, 6:54 GMT)

@Aditya Nataraja, Kato is Simon Katich.

Posted by cnksnk on (September 23, 2013, 6:18 GMT)

If we remember Hussey's retirement announcement came all of a sudden. Even while he was making the announcement Hussey allued to the fact that things were not the same under Pup as it was under Ponting. I do not recollect the exact words but I always had the impression that spending time with his family was not the only reason for Hussey ' s retirement. If someone can fish out his announcement I think we will realise that Hussey moving on was also some level of unease with Pup.

Posted by vaidyar on (September 23, 2013, 6:09 GMT)

Just can't wait for Chappelli to weigh in on this 'team song' incident.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 5:54 GMT)

Okay, who is this character Kato?

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 5:53 GMT)

Good job they haven't had to use the team song for a while (in tests) if this is the trouble it causes......

Posted by muzika_tchaikovskogo on (September 23, 2013, 5:43 GMT)

Admittedly I have no idea what the tradition of singing the team song means to Australian cricketers, but getting into a nasty confrontation over a mere celebration sounds like the stuff of school kids.

Posted by AhaanSM on (September 23, 2013, 5:38 GMT)

Very sad to know this. But, I never got to know about this, it didn't seem as if anything was wrong.

Posted by drfarnsworth on (September 23, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

So, if they just sang the team song on time (when Clarke wanted), Katich would still be in the team, possibly Hussey too, and Australia would have won the Ashes, maybe even the Indian test series (or at least a test, without homework-gate), and the team would not be a laughing stock at the moment?

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