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Clarke called Watson a cancer in team: Mickey Arthur

Sacked Australia coach Mickey Arthur, who is planning to sue Cricket Australia (CA), has revealed that bitter factionalism led to a rift between skipper Michael Clarke and Shane Watson. The South African claimed that while Clarke wanted to embrace the need for discipline, Watson did not.

Shane Watson, Michael Clarke and (inset) Mickey Arthur
All ok? Australia skipper Michael Clarke (right) with teammate Shane Watson (inset) Mickey Arthur. Pic/Getty Images

According to Channel Seven’s report, Arthur has reportedly claimed in the legal documents that Michael Clarke described Shane Watson and his faction as “a cancer” on the national squad. Arthur’s claims come at a time when Australia have suffered a loss in the first Ashes Test against England.

“There was major tension between Michael Clarke and Shane Watson,” Channel Seven reported from Arthur’s document of claim. Channel Seven, which has access to court documents submitted by Arthur, revealed that Arthur has made explosive allegations of racial discrimination against Cricket Australia (CA).

Arthur also revealed that it was Watson who tipped him off about David Warner’s rowdy night out where the Australian opener punched England batsman Joe Root at a bar in Birmingham. Warner was then fined USD 11,500 and suspended from the tour matches leading into the Ashes.

Arthur feels he was discriminated by CA because of his South African background and said he was not supported by CA during the “homeworkgate” affair in India.

Then vice-captain Watson, bowlers James Pattinson and Mitchell Johnson and batsman Usman Khawaja were sidelined from the third Test in Mohali for failing to complete a team survey.

Arthur, who is in South Africa for the funeral of his mother, will be back in Australia on Saturday.  He released a statement on the leaking of documents. “I am extremely upset and disappointed that confidential documents appear to have been given by others to the media,” Arthur said.

“The matters raised in my application to the FWC concerning issues within the Australian cricket team are very sensitive, which is why I was at pains to keep them confidential, especially at this time.

“I have kept them confidential,unfortunately others have now made them public. I want to stress how important to me the members of the team were, and still remain to me. The welfare of the Australian cricket team is upmost to me.”

Cricket Australia, in a brief statement, said: “We’re disappointed that it’s come to this but Cricket Australia is confident in its position on this matter and is sure it will get resolved in an appropriate manner.” 

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