Former Oz greats say Katich-Pup spat leak sign of disintegrating team

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Melbourne, Feb 7 (ANI): Former Australian cricket players claim the leakage of the ugly dressing room spat between Michael Clarke-Simon Katich, is a sign of a disintegrating Australian cricket team.

Former pacer Mike Whitney insisted there had been similar physical spats like the Clarke- Katich clash in the past, but said there had always been a private pact to keep blow-ups behind closed dressing room doors.

Clarke and Katich had to be separated in the dressing room after the SCG Test against South Africa last month when Katich grabbed Clarke by the throat during an argument over the singing of the team song.

"I was really shocked when I heard about this. Things like this in my day would never have got outside the dressing room," the Courier Mail quoted Whitney, as saying.

"I was quite surprised. This sort of thing should certainly not be for public consumption. This is a sign this team is under pressure, probably more pressure than any Australian team I can remember for ages. That pressure seems to have mounted really heavily and obviously tensions have frayed in the dressing room," he said.

Another former Australian fast bowler, Jason Gillespie, could barely believe the incident had left the time-honoured confines of the dressing room.

"I am very disappointed that this has got out. It is not the done thing. I am not worried about scuffles - that can happen in any team or workplace. Blokes have disagreements from time to time - that is just life - but I am just disappointed it all got out of the dressing room," he said.

The altercation was sparked after Clarke had wanted the team song sung early in celebrations so he could leave the rooms.

But sources close to Clarke insisted that the vice-captain had not pushed for the early singing of the song solely so he could leave to be with model girlfriend Lara Bingle.

It is believed younger members of the Australian team were lobbying Clarke to leave the rooms early so they could attend private celebrations.

Clarke, who captained Australia in Melbourne yesterday, claimed there was no lingering ill feeling and the incident was not a sign of team disharmony. (ANI)

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