Michael Clarke discusses spat with England bowler James Anderson
Australia captain Michael Clarke admits he crossed the line after being caught sledging James Anderson in Ashes series
Michael Clarke has admitted that he acted inappropriately after threatening to break James Anderson’s arm during the first Ashes Test last winter.
The Australia captain, who was reportedly reacting to comments Anderson aimed at George Bailey, was fined 20 per cent of his match fee by the ICC after his comments were picked up by the stump microphones and heard by millions.
As captain of Australia it is part of my job to ensure we always uphold the integrity of the game
“Get ready to have you f**king arm broken,” Clarke said to Anderson as Mitchell Johnson prepared to bowl.
But the Aussie batsman, who skippered his side to a 5-0 series whitewash, conceded that his emotions got the better of him in a tense Ashes opener.
“What I said to James Anderson wasn’t appropriate, especially being over a stump mic… sometimes when you are playing international sport at the highest level, emotions come out for people to see,” Clarke said in an interview with ESPNcricinfo.com.
Australia were further criticised at the start of the Ashes series after England batsman Jonathan Trott flew home after the first Test, citing a personal reasons.
While Clarke admitted Australia adopted a tough non-compromising style of cricket, the Ashes-winning captain remained adamant that his side never crossed the line.
“We [Australia] play our cricket hard on the field, but as Australians we understand there is a line you can’t cross… you can go close to it but you can’t cross it. The Australian way is to play tough non-compromising cricket on the field,” Clarke added.
He continued: “We [Australia] do everything in our power to uphold the spirit of the game, the integrity of the game is crucial.
“We all know that as players and certainly as captain of Australia it is part of my job to ensure we always uphold the integrity of the game.”