Advertisement

Clarke fires back at Buchanan, Symonds

Former Test captain responds to disparaging comments from John Buchanan and former teammates

Michael Clarke has broken his silence on the criticism he copped after announcing his retirement during the Ashes earlier this year.

Both Andrew Symonds and Matthew Hayden were in the former skipper's sights, but he saved his biggest sledge for former Australian coach John Buchanan.

In August, Buchanan claimed the culture of the Australian cricket team had fallen under Clarke's captaincy, which came to an end after the Ashes.

Quick Single: Clarke slammed ahead of final Test

Clarke has used his 2015 Ashes Diary to fire back at his former coach.

"I don't think John knows a thing about the Baggy Green, having never worn one," Clarke wrote.

"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 an interview with News Corp during the Ashes, Buchanan said Clarke didn't hold the values of Australian cricket in the same esteem as his predecessors.

"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 said.

"I can remember guys like Hayden and (Justin) Langer sitting him down in a corner and trying to get him to understand what we were trying to achieve.

"There were times when I felt Michael did not understand or did not want to understand."

Clarke also hit out at Symonds, who like Buchanan had questioned the skipper's leadership.

"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.

"This is a guy who turned up drunk to play for his country. It's pretty rich for him to be throwing rocks."

Symonds and Clarke were once close friends, but quickly fell out as Symonds’s behaviour became more erratic and Clarke entered the leadership ranks.

Symonds eventually had his contract cancelled in 2009 for breaking a drinking ban while in England.

Clarke also hit back at comments that Hayden made during a radio interview, in which he claimed Clarke had refused to field at bat-pad early in his career.

Hayden said he heard Clarke tell then captain Ricky Ponting he would "hand back (his) Baggy Green" if he was forced to put on the helmet and field in close.

The former Test opener later wrote a column for News Corp, in which he heaped praise on Clarke and said he had never intended to question the skipper's devotion to the Baggy Green.

But Clarke labelled the "pot shots" thrown at him by Hayden and Symonds as a "low act", saying Hayden had taken a tongue-in-cheek comment out of context.

"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."