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Nothing that a little wine and song wouldn't help: Warne

Shane Warne: "Old school ways can still work well."

Shane Warne: "Old school ways can still work well." Photo: Getty Images

Former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne argues struggling Australia would have been better served by locking "everyone in a room with some music and alcohol" than standing down four players to make a statement about team culture.

Australia enters the third Test at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium on Thursday with a squad of only 13 players available, after Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja were made unavailable over a breach of discipline.

The quartet failed to provide personal feedback requested by head coach Mickey Arthur following the heavy second Test defeat in Hyderabad and were subsequently left out.

Arthur has since pointed to a general decline in standards leading up to the decision, with players missing appointments with staff, wearing the wrong uniforms, having unacceptable skinfolds and being late for team meetings.

Warne weighed into the controversial subject on Wednesday.

"To me the punishment doesn't fit the crime," he said on his Facebook page. "As a leader I always thought if the boys weren't getting along or we weren't performing, then the best thing to do was to lock everyone into a room with some music, alcohol and everyone have there (sic) say to each other. Old school ways can still work well."

Warne, who was stripped of the Australian vice-captaincy in 2000 for off-field issues, has previously clashed with coaches.

In 2007 he labelled his former Test coach John Buchanan a "goose" who was "living in pixeland". And in January he called for Arthur to be replaced by former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming when publishing his "manifesto" on the state of Australian cricket on his website.

"The coach should not be asking for homework," Warne added in his column for the London Daily Telegraph. "He should be creating an atmosphere where players feel relaxed, not on tenterhooks all the time about their place. When players are relaxed they feel at ease with their game and perform at their best.

"Homework is just petty and we cannot afford to lose James Pattinson or Shane Watson when the team are 2-0 down – or at any stage, for that matter.

"Some people might call this old school but sometimes the old way is the best way. When things are going wrong it is not about naughty boy nets: it is about trying to make players feel at ease."

Watson, the current vice-captain, has described the suspensions as "very harsh" but Test captain Michael Clarke said the other three axed players had reacted well.

"I couldn’t ask for any more from the boys. I think they have been exceptional, even the guys who have been disciplined, their attitude has been unbelievable," Clarke said.

"Mitchell Johnson spoke to the group the other day and what he said was amazing, his attitude and commitment to the group was fantastic.

"You can see how committed he is as well. Disappointed but committed. Usi’s attitude throughout this series in regards to attitude and trying to improve his game… he’s fighting every day, he wants a chance, he wants an opportunity to get back playing for Australia and the guys deserve a lot of credit for copping the punishment."

19 comments

  • Ridiculous how much these guys get paid! 6 mill a year? Come on!!!!! AFL players train harder, put up with more pain and have career ending injuries.... Cricket officials should do THEIR homework!

    Commenter
    Torch
    Date and time
    March 14, 2013, 9:24AM
    • Yeah, but cricketers have skill, they don't make errors every second time they touch the ball. Playing a sport with a billion fans worldwide as opposed to a handful on the Australian South Coast probably dictates they get a few more $$$ I suspect...

      Commenter
      Dano
      Location
      City
      Date and time
      March 14, 2013, 10:58AM
    • you are playing for your Country and you should get paid for it and be held to a higher standard then if you only playing a club game like AFL where you get 3 strikes and your out for drugs and it don't matter if you drop the ball . as for shane warnes booze up ha ha how childish and the thing you should never do with top level sports people

      Commenter
      nikraf of vic
      Date and time
      March 14, 2013, 6:45PM
    • What do you mean every second time they pick up the ball.
      They are hopeless at picking it up. Can't be that hard, league players manage it.

      Commenter
      J Walker
      Date and time
      March 14, 2013, 10:00PM
  • I would be an interesting time for Australian cricket, but maybe they should hand the reins over to Warnie and see whether he can reinstill the confidence and mongrel that typified the Chappell era, because nothing short of a tsunami will stop England thrashing Australia 4 -0

    Commenter
    Rob S
    Location
    Hampton
    Date and time
    March 14, 2013, 9:56AM
    • warne is not often right about much but he is right this time.
      His statement has added weight considering that the tattoo boy is his mate.
      This malarkey has to be sorted out.

      Commenter
      nkelly
      Date and time
      March 14, 2013, 10:44AM
      • I agree Ned! They should be encouraging each other not wowsering each other with powertrips. Dumping our best bowler is not acceptable for a start. Who would want a punitive culture anyway? You can't 'enforce a culture'.

        Commenter
        tommy lloyd
        Location
        greta
        Date and time
        March 14, 2013, 11:57AM
    • No wonder Warne never got the captaincy. promoting alcohol in an already boozy sporty world.
      There are many other ways to bond.

      When Warne blamed mummy when he had been caught with a diaretic in his blood, a masking Agent, I stopped listening to anything Waren said.
      Here's more proof of his stupidity todaytoday
      I dont think respected players like Steve Waugh would speak like Warne - irresponsible and a lousy value system
      What is required in cricket is to get rid of the 2 rugby people who hold wishy washy jobs - they're just bad smell around cricketers.
      You ned a Director of Cricket with a Steve Waugh at the helm. a jo with much more clout directlt reporting to ther Board, with cricket development, player development, game development and an ablle assistanr.
      For example in gane development , reenvigorate one day cricket - 40 overs each, chane after 20 overs like this: we bat 20, they bat 20, we bat 20, they bat 20 with breaks - you'll get more interest with this - Tendulker agrees with this - there is but one example; ditch or reduce 20 20 to absolute minimum - have a few special big matches with this formula, otherwise the game will continue to be diluted

      Commenter
      tezza's profound wisdom
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 14, 2013, 11:15AM
      • Good grief mate, typing with your eyes closed? Maybe proof read it next time. As to the article, I didn't read it as Warne is in the same bucket as Germaine Greer - irrelevant and a shame he still gets his views aired.

        Commenter
        Stewart Glenn
        Date and time
        March 14, 2013, 1:15PM
    • They are well paid, they have spare time - yet couldn't complete a simple request (no-one said they had to do it well - just hand the thing in). Should get no sympathy, but you can always rely on the bogan element to find some sort of pathetic reasoning.

      Commenter
      Nick
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 14, 2013, 11:19AM

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