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Michael Clarke slams his critics

Andrew Symonds (left) said Michael Clarke (right) was not a natural leader like Ricky Ponting or Steve Waugh.
Andrew Symonds (left) said Michael Clarke (right) was not a natural leader like Ricky Ponting or Steve Waugh.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has fired back at his critics, including former coach John Buchanan and ex-teammate Andrew Symonds, for comments made during the 2015 Ashes.

Earlier this year, during the course of the 2015 Ashes, Buchanan criticised Clarke for not having a proper understanding of the values of the 'Baggy Green culture'.

Buchanan added that the Australian cricket culture, epitomised by the Baggy Green cap that Test players are given, was under threat during the captaincy of Clarke.

Firing back at his former coach, Clarke lashed out saying that Buchanan never knew what it was like to wear the Baggy Green and play for Australia.

"I don't think John knows a thing about the Baggy Green, having never worn one,” Clarke wrote in his 2015 Ashes Diary.

"He's still living off the fact that he coached a team that anyone, even my dog Jerry, could have coached to world domination." 

Earlier this year, Symonds, who played Test cricket for Australia between 2004 and 2008, said that Clarke was not a natural leader like Steve Waugh or Ricky Ponting.

Coming down heavily on his former teammate who often ran into disciplinary problems, Clarke said that Symonds was in no position to judge people on their leadership skills.

"Andrew Symonds went on TV to criticise my leadership.

“I'm sorry but he is not a person to judge anyone on leadership.

"This is a guy who turned up drunk to play for his country.

“It's pretty rich for him to be throwing rocks."

Former opening batsman Matthew Hayden also was among those who voiced their opinion about Clarke during the 2015 Ashes.

Hayden recalled an incident early in Clarke’s career where the then youngster reportedly threatened to return his Baggy Green cap if he was asked to wear a helmet and field in a close position such as short leg.

The 44-year-old left-hander went on to claim that Clarke was a person who had a “hot head” when it came to matters of captaincy.

Dismissing Hayden's remarks, Clarke countered that he always valued representing his country and gave his best every time he played for Australia.

"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," he replied.

"If Ricky (Ponting) had asked me to jump off the Harbour Bridge, I would have jumped.

“I loved playing for Australia that much.”

In his 12-year career for Australia, Clarke played 115 Test matches, 245 One-Day Internationals and 34 Twenty20 Internationals, scoring over 17,000 runs spread across all formats.

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