Sydney, Mar. 10 (ANI): Noted cricket commentator Peter Roebuck has said that Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke needs to choose between a fraught personal life and his cricket career.
According to Roebuck, Clarke's decision to leave the national squad mid-way in New Zealand to attend to his fiancie Lara Bingle makes his position untenable.
"If Clarke is unwilling to make the call, then cricket will make it for him. In the nick of time, Ricky Ponting sorted himself out. Now, it is Clarke's turn," says Roebuck in his article for the Sydney Morning Herald.
"It is no small thing for a vice-captain to walk out on a team at any stage, let alone on the eve of a big match. A few days ago he was leading these same men and doing a good job by all accounts. Make no mistake, a lot is at stake, for a fine player and Australian cricket," Roebuck says.
"Ordinarily, a player rushes home upon hearing some dreadful news of a family loss, impending or completed. Or else he has been informed of a devastating sickness. Now and then a player is allowed to attend a birth in the modern way. Occasionally depression strikes a player down, a curse that afflicted Marcus Trescothick on the last Ashes tour. On these occasions, all and sundry conduct themselves with due sensitivity," he adds.
But as far as Clarke is concerned, his responsibilities do not permit withdrawal on any except the most desperate circumstances.
"None of the evidence indicates that any such conditions prevailed. Certainly he heard some bad news about his partner, but it pertained to disarray as opposed to crisis," Roebuck says.
"As far as Australian cricket is concerned, the problem is the instability caused by this turbulent relationship. By and large, top-class sportsmen marry young. Among cricketers, Viv Richards, Ian Botham, Steve Waugh and Sachin Tendulkar walked the aisle at an early age. All of these marriages survived the ensuing years. In each case, the wife had the maturity and adaptability needed to survive the demands of the distant life. As a result they were able to sustain stable family lives and solid homes as their husbands soared and sank," he says.
He concludes that given Clarke's problems, Cricket Australia will be reluctant to put the national team completely in his hands.
"He has always come across as an essentially likeable young fellow currently a little off track but bound sooner or later to emerge as a sincere and big-hearted man. Now, might be a good time to take that step." (ANI)