The gloves are off! Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke, in his new book 'Ashes Diary 2015', has hit out at John Buchanan, stating that his pet dog could have done as good a job as the ex-national coach. He also hits out at some of his former team-mates like Andrew Symonds and Mathew Hayden, who criticised him after he announced his retirement during the recent Ashes series loss in England.
Clarke slams former Australia coach John Buchanan, taunting him for never having played for his country and saying
"even my dog Jerry" could have had similar success.
The former captain used his Ashes Diary 2015, released earlier this week, to hit out at members from Australia's glory era who took a public swipe at him after he announced his international retirement in August.
The 34-year-old described the "pot shots" thrown at him by Hayden and Symonds as a "low act” and lambasted the media who had "smashed" him "for every failure of the team in the last 13 years".
Australian cricketers Andrew Symonds (L) and Michael Clarke (R) exchange presents at the team's Christmas party where the players and their families get together before the next cricket Test match in Melbourne, 25 December 2006. Australia play England starting 26 December in the Boxing Day Test and lead 3-0 in the five-Test Ashes series. AFP
Both former team-mates Andrew Symonds and Matthew Hayden publicly questioned Clarke's leadership in August and Clarke has used his book to hit back.
He savaged Symonds, with whom he was once close friends, after the all-rounder questioned Clarke's leadership style.
"Andrew Symonds went on TV to criticise my leadership. I'm sorry but he is not a person to judge anyone on leadership," Clarke wrote of his former team-mate. "This is a guy who turned up drunk to play for his country. It's pretty rich for him to be throwing rocks."
The pair were close friends at the beginning of the former Australian captain's career, however, as Symonds' behaviour deteriorated and Clarke entered the leadership ranks, they quickly fell out.
Symonds eventually had his contract cancelled by Cricket Australia in 2009 for breaking a drinking ban while in England.
Clarke also hit back at Hayden's assertions that he had refused to field at bat-pad early in his career. Hayden claimed he heard Clarke tell Ricky Ponting he would "hand back (his) baggy green" if he was forced to put on the helmet and field in close.
However, Clarke says his record speaks for itself. "I think I've shown over the past 12 years how much I've valued representing my country and how much my 389 baggy green means to me," Clarke wrote.
"If Ricky (Ponting) had asked me to jump off the Harbour Bridge, I would have jumped. I loved playing for Australia that much."
But Clarke saved his biggest criticism for former coach Buchanan.
Michael Clarke (L) carries a jerry can of water as coach John Buchanan (R) looks on during an outback boot camp training session in the Beerwah State Forest in August 2006, near Brisbane. Pic/AFP
"I don't think John knows a thing about the baggy green (cap), having never worn one," Clarke said.
"He's still living off the fact that he coached a team that anyone, even my dog Jerry, could have coached to world domination."
In August, Buchanan criticised the culture of the Australian cricket team under Clarke's captaincy.
"Players like Steve Waugh, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting and others really tried to make the Baggy Green culture something special but I could sense it was under threat and under Michael's captaincy I can sense it has disappeared a bit and that disappointed me," he told News Corp Australia.
"There were times when I felt Michael did not understand or did not want to understand."
Clarke scored 8,643 runs in 115 Tests and retired from international cricket after the fifth and final Ashes Test against England at The Oval.
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