Mike Hussey is at the centre of a rumour doing the rounds by email, and published in of all places a financial gossip column on Thursday, that he and Michael Clarke had a spectacular falling out after his farewell Test at the SCG. According to the scuttlebutt, Hussey and Clarke had been split over where post-match celebrations should be held - Mr Cricket wanted them in the dressing room and then the hotel, but the captain preferred a planned evening on James Packer's super yacht Seahorse. Hussey, it was claimed, boycotted the boat ride in protest, having also just been surprisingly left out of the one-day squad. He was joined by two other players, the email said. The Tonk was made aware of the alleged dispute on Wednesday morning and quickly had it shot down vehemently by Hussey's management and Cricket Australia. There is at least one element of truth to the email, though - Hussey did not join teammates on Packer's vessel. But the way it was told to this column is that was because the team had already celebrated in their SCG dressing room and then their hotel until about 10pm and he wanted to rejoin his family, who were staying with him in a suite at the team's Sydney base. The Tonk was told the others who stayed in the hotel at The Rocks instead of boarding the boat were Shane Watson, who missed the Test because of injury but wanted to be part of Hussey's farewell, and Peter Siddle. Support staff with families present, including Steve Rixon and Dene Hills, also stayed with Hussey in the hotel rather than hitting Sydney Harbour.
Bad boys in favour
A few months ago the international careers of party boys and best friends Shaun Marsh and Luke Pomersbach looked dead and buried. Marsh had added another indiscretion to his rap sheet at the T20 Champions League in South Africa, leading him to be stood down by Perth Scorchers and then by Western Australia for club cricket. Pomersbach, meanwhile, was still scratching around in Brisbane despite reforming from his wild days in the west. All of a sudden both are in line for national recalls after outstanding Big Bash League campaigns with the Scorchers and Brisbane Heat respectively. Australia are tipped to name a T20 squad on Monday for the matches against Sri Lanka, at ANZ Stadium on January 26 and the MCG two days later, and Test and one-day captain Michael Clarke says they deserve to be in contention after cleaning up their acts. ''I think Shaun and Luke have done a fantastic job and made the most of their opportunities,'' Clarke said. ''Luke deserves a lot of credit to make the move to Queensland and not have a contract. That took a lot of courage and he's reaping the rewards now … If they keep performing the way they're performing I don't see any reason why they won't be at the top of the queue when the selectors are talking about the Twenty20 games.''
MCG the favourite
Sydney is fighting an uphill battle in its bid to host the 2015 World Cup final. The Tonk is hearing whispers the MCG is firming as the favoured venue, while Sydney is likely to host a semi-final at ANZ Stadium or the SCG. The MCG staged the 1992 cup final between Pakistan and England, attracting a crowd of 87,182. The Australia Day Twenty20 against Sri Lanka will be ANZ Stadium's next chance to enhance its claims with cup organisers for the right to stage games in 2015. The venue's new $2 million practice facility, which includes eight purpose-built pitches and is to be completed by next summer, is a cornerstone of the bid. A crowd of 50,000 is expected to see Australia tackle the ICC World Twenty20 finalists.
Watson a worry
Shane Watson is keen to make his return from his latest calf complaint for NSW on Thursday but while there is no shortage of state and national personnel overseeing his fitness, he is no certainty. The Blues' meeting with Western Australia at Blacktown next week is considered a good opportunity to usher him back. Elsewhere, India tour candidate Usman Khawaja is expected to play club cricket in Brisbane this weekend for Valley, while returning fast bowler Ryan Harris will turn out for his side Toombul in the Brisbane grade ranks.
Talking up job
NSW cricket manager David Thompson is confident he will not become a victim of the recent bloodletting at Cricket NSW, which has claimed the coach and chief executive, Anthony Stuart (dumped) and David Gilbert (resigned). ''My job is safe,'' said Thompson, who is on a multi-year contract. ''My job is to give players and coaches everything they need to be successful and make sure we have players coming through to keep supplying Australian cricket … and we are doing that very, very well.''
Richie still at crease
Botch-up of the week goes to London's Evening Standard, whose ''Quote of the Day'' on Wednesday, above, was purportedly uttered by Richie Benaud. ''I just received my first 'wish you were dead' tweet just now. My dear friend, I'm in my eighties. Just be patient'','' the commentary doyen was said to have tweeted. Benaud, to our knowledge, is not on Twitter. The culprit was a parody account.
No place like home
Alyssa Healy fired a friendly barb to the Sixers and Thunder before the NSW Breakers chase what has proven to be an elusive maiden domestic Twenty20 crown this weekend. They are in their fourth consecutive final but will travel to Perth as the women's match is a curtain-raiser to the Big Bash final. ''The @CricNSWBreakers would love a home T20 final one year please!!'' she tweeted.