August 12, 2003

Hookes puts his foot in it ... again

Wisden CricInfo staff

David Hookes, the Victorian coach, has been at it again. In an attempt to defend Shane Warne, Hookes shot his mouth off, saying that Warne was being persecuted by a "dopey hairy-backed sheila". In true Hookes fashion, he proceeded to make things worse by saying that the comments were not meant to be derogatory, as, he says, "hairy-backed" is a term commonly used to describe South Africans.

Cricket Victoria immediately distanced itself from Hookes's comments. Ken Jacobs, their chief executive, said in a media release: "Cricket Victoria wishes to reaffirm that it neither supports nor condones those comments. The comments were inconsistent with the organisation's commitment to high standards of community values, inclusiveness, and sportsmanship."

Chastened by his association's stand, Hookes issued an apology. "It certainly wasn't meant to be disparaging," he said, "and perhaps it was a loose-lipped comment in the sense that sometimes you react to your friends in closed quarters and certainly not in the public forum."

This is merely the latest embarrassment he has caused. Just before the Bangladesh tour of Australia, he called for Australia to "annihilate" the opposition. He said: "It could be all over and done within a day. The reality is that Bangladesh doesn't deserve to be in Test cricket and they certainly shouldn't be given any favours out on the field." In the end, Bangladesh acquitted themselves well, despite losing 0-2.