The public media feud between ex-Australian Test cricket captain, Michael Clarke, and Australian sports journalist, has illuminated many as to the nature of Clarke’s views on the ‘Australian Way,’ and the manner in which the Australian Test team should conduct themselves.
But a series of Tweets and public comments can hardly substitute for an in-depth understanding of Michael Clarke’s view of what constitutes the Australian Way of existing, breathing, and playing cricket. So with the help of The Obiter’s investigative department, we have dived deep inside Michael Clarke’s mind, by way of an extensive interview, to glean a deeper understanding of his unique philosophy.
The interview below has been paraphrased for brevity. Clarke’s longer ramblings, and more deranged rants have been edited extensively, in both the interests of retaining a younger audience who should not be exposed to such filth, and also in the interests of protecting the reputation of one of Australia’s premier cricketers.
OB: So, Michael-
MC: It’s Pup.
OB: (chuckles) I mean, Pup.
MC: Thanks for getting it right. You have no idea the amount of pressure I’m under at home.
OB: ...To be called Pup?
MC: Bang on the money, skip.
Clarke then shot finger guns at the interviewer for at least three to four minutes by our count, or at the very least, until it became enduringly awkward to witness.
OB: You’ve been quite outspoken by suggesting the culture of the Australian cricket team has become too ‘weak,’ and ‘soft.’
MC: You’re forgetting ‘fucking cowardly.’
OB: We were going to get to that, Pup, but yes, ‘fucking cowardly’ has been among your comments. Now, clearly your conception of the Australian Way of playing Test cricket is built on the tough approaches of previous captains, your Waughs, Pontings, Borders, etc, but is there anything to your approach that you would consider unique?
MC: Of course. My view is that by being friendly and weak, you invite them into your house - and once they’re in your house, it’s hard to get them out. Be tough. Don’t let them inside. It actually helps to imagine your opponents as vampires!
OB: Right, right, but with respect to something like sledging, is there--
MC: And I don’t mean vampires like the Count from Sesame Street - he’s just a humble mathematician with an accent and bad teeth. I mean vampires like Edward from Twilight, or whoever Hugh Jackman was hunting in his undisputed masterpiece, Van Helsing!
OB: We appreciate the clarification, Pup, but getting back to your views regarding aggression in the modern game-
MC: Punch them in the dick.
MC: You heard me. Punch their batsmen in the dick. I’m not kidding. We did it all the time during the Ashes. The camera angles can be extremely deceptive, but in any period of dominance the Australian team has had, it’s been down to dickpunching - or ‘shaft-hitting,’ as Mitch Johnson used to call it.
OB: So, it’s not about bowling fast, or setting aggressive fields, or anything like that?
MC: Never. What Tim Paine is forgetting is that a clever, fast bowling group, and gritty batsmen, won’t win you games. You need to punch their batsmen in the dick. It’s the Australian Way.
OB: You mention the Australian Way again, Michael, and we’re just wondering if there’s anything more to it than ‘shaft-hitting’?
MC: It’s Pup. P-U-P. Rhymes with CUP.
OB: Does it rhyme with ICUP?
MC: Yeah, I reckon it might do.
OB: Could you spell ICUP for us?
MC: Of course I can mate, I graduated Year 12 and have a Bachelor’s in being fucking alpha, I reckon I can spell that. I… C…. U…. P.
OB: How are you seeing me pee, mate, I’m not even peeing!
MC: How could you do this to me?
OB: Dunno, mate. You never tried the ICUP sledge?
MC: Not at all, we just stuck to-
OB: Punching them in the penis, yeah, we all understand. Any more insights to offer, Pup, or are we able to end this now?
MC: Happy to leave it here.
OB: As are we.
What followed was a surprisingly spirited game of backyard cricket with the former Captain, and whilst he certainly tried to punch The Obiter XI in the genitals more often than not, it didn’t distract from the friendly and enthusiastic nature of the match played.
Probably some more to come.