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Michael Clarke opens up about feud with Shane Watson

Australian captain Michael Clarke (L) speaks with coach Darren Lehmann during an indoor training session ahead of their 2015 Cricket World Cup match against Bangladesh at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane on February 20, 2015. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)
Australian captain Michael Clarke (L) speaks with coach Darren Lehmann during an indoor training session ahead of their 2015 Cricket World Cup match against Bangladesh at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane on February 20, 2015. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke has opened up about his feud with the select group of players who were labelled as ‘cancer’ in the media. Of these players, Shane Watson was a prominent part of being one of the players to have a fall-out with the skipper in spite of his seniority within the Australian side. Former opening batsman Simon Katich also had his well-documented differences with Clarke during this period.

During the period when Mickey Arthur was coach of the Australian side, the current Pakistan coach had then said that some of those players were like cancer to the overall well-being of the team. Clarke also went on to deny that he used the word ‘cancer’. However, he also added that there was a group of players who were indeed a tumour to the side.

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“No, I didn’t say that,” Clarke said. “I said that there is a number of players or a group in this team at the moment that are like a tumour, and if we don’t fix it, it’s going to turn into cancer.”

Clarke also went on to enumerate on the controversy between Katich and him which ended in Katich grabbing the Aussie skipper by the throat. “I think a lot of us were getting wound up, so I think I had every reason to be pissed off,” Clarke said. “But I don’t think my language was appropriate to Kato (Katich). It turned out — I found out four days later — that Matthew Hayden was going to retire after that Test match. So I think Haydos was pissed off as well that that happened in his last Test.”

Also read – Shahid Afridi’s autobiography to release next year

Clarke also enumerated on his stint as vice-captain under Ricky Ponting. “I don’t think I was a good vice-captain at all,” he told the programme. “As soon as I got given the vice-captaincy, I think the perception was I was automatically the next captain, and that built.”

“I hated not knowing why people didn’t like me or why the media perception was they didn’t like me,” Clarke said. “The negative stuff I would read, and I felt like I was reading it in bold letters.

“You know, you’re selfish, you don’t care about the team, you’re an upstart’ — that was hard to deal with.”

Also read – Wants to score so much runs that no one can ignore me: Rishabh Pant

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