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Bren O'Brien: Wade over disrespectful to Test cricket

Sportal December 21, 2012, 1:19 pm

The decision to allow Matthew Wade to bowl in the first Test against Sri Lanka was one of the few mis-steps Michael Clarke has made as national captain.

And his decision to defend that call is another error in what we hope is not a growing pattern.

The defence of Clarke's decision to allow Wade to bowl the final over before tea is pretty much along the lines of that no harm was done, but given the home side needed until 6.03pm on the final day of the Test to secure their first win of the summer, it was almost an embarrassment for the skipper.

With the new ball just 10 overs old, and Australia still needing six wickets for victory, Clarke threw the ball to Wade, who became the first Australian wicketkeeper since 1983 to bowl an over in Test cricket.

It was grins all around as Phil Hughes took the gloves and Wade rolled the arm over, conceding no runs and securing no wickets. As the players headed off chortling about what they had seen, Sri Lanka had seen off another over and were closer to rescuing the match.

The objection to Wade being afforded this opportunity is that it can be seen both as disrespectful to the opposition and to the elite version of the game.

Sri Lanka were battling to stay in the match and were put in a situation where they were playing a bowler who has never claimed a wicket at any decent level in his life.

Perhaps the 'razzle dazzle' of T20 cricket has crept into Clarke's thinking, and while it set tongues wagging, was it within the spirit of the game?

Wade revealed on Thursday that he felt it was a novelty, but Clarke, in an ill-advised move, not only defended the decision but said Wade could be considered for duties again in the future.

In the past 100 years of Test cricket, wicketkeepers have bowled approximately 118 overs and taken a grand total of six wickets. Despite Clarke saying he doesn't care who gets the wickets, it was not a high percentage play.

Even less credible is Clarke's assertion that tail-enders make plenty of runs with the bat, so why shouldn't non-bowlers contribute with the ball?

Tail-enders have to bat, Matthew Wade did not have to bowl.

Clarke also opted for an experiment which, given the series of fitness issues which have flared among Australia's batsmen and bowlers, himself included, could have jeopardised the fitness of the country's best wicketkeeper.

It is, of course, Clarke's right to decide who gets to bowl, but it also his responsibility to ensure the dignity of the baggy green and the dignity of the game remains intact.

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  1. William10:11pm Friday 28th December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Yes benobo I think you have hit the nail on the head Bren is short for Brenda the writer is a sheila, no disrespect for sheilas mind you but ballet is appropriate.

  2. Max09:13pm Friday 21st December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Bren. who ?????????

  3. Benobo08:54pm Friday 21st December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    is this jounalist just another whingeing pome, i think the only sport he should write about is ballet because he is a girl.

  4. Mike07:03pm Friday 21st December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    "the dignity of the baggy green".....that ship sailed with the underarm delivery.Australian cricket has a long history of cheating,gloating when they win and excuse making when they lose.Mark Waugh wasn`t given out when he hit the wickets with his bat,against the rules of international cricket,evidence that even the Australian umpires are blatant cheats.Clarkes complete lack of respect for the Sri Lankans is just more in a long line of what the world expects from Australian cricketers.

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  5. Rob07:00pm Friday 21st December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    well the bloke couldn't keep properly so might as well let him try something else

  6. Steve06:41pm Friday 21st December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I think by the look of the replies here Ben that you would be best to pull this (non)article from the website.

  7. Rachel06:36pm Friday 21st December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Obviously this guy has never played cricket. I captain a cricket team and have done the same thing many many times with good results.

  8. Graeme06:25pm Friday 21st December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Bren Obrien...I agree with Ron....GET A LIFE!!!! Wade bowled a fantastic over... Quite skillful unlike your journalism.

  9. Me06:22pm Friday 21st December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    yes me thinks this article is a little nonsensical... by my reckoning Tim Zoehrer was a very good leg spinner but he would never had got a bowl if this clown was every captain...it is easy to see why he is writing for yahoo... Disrespectful or not if Clarke has a tool in his kit then he is disrespectful to the team and country not to use it if the occasion calls for it...

  10. Steve06:08pm Friday 21st December 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Ben O'brien Clarke is the captain and he calls it as he sees fit, who are you to sully his name - what is your claim to authority? What would you be writing if Wade had taken a wicket or two?




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