I will keep my counsel on the Pakistan match fixing stuff. It is as sad as it is inevitable, that's all I'll say.
So onto more important matters. The conduct of the Australian national cricket team. Don't take my word for it, how about this recent interview from one of the most respected world umpires, Rudi Koertzen...
"Rudi Koertzen, the former South African Elite Panel umpire who recently retired from international matches, has said the Australian players were quite a handful to officiate, singling out former fast bowler Glenn McGrath.
In an interview earlier this month, Koertzen said Shane Warne was the hardest bowler to umpire purely because of the pressure he used to exert. However, he wasn't always pleased with McGrath's conduct on the field. McGrath, who ended his successful Test career as Australia's second-highest wicket-taker with 563 wickets, had a few run-ins with match referees and umpires.
"He wasn't one of the happiest guys. He always moaned and whinged," Koertzen told cricket365.com. "If he wasn't getting wickets and the batsmen were hitting him for a few fours, he got a bit personal and upset. I thought I was very fortunate to get on with probably 99% of the players in world cricket.
"There was always the odd individual who had to be babied all the time. You had to be like a policeman to them. A fielder like Matthew Hayden or Andrew Symonds, you always had to be alert when they were on the field because something was going to happen. If you didn't pick it up as soon as possible things were going to get out of hand."
Let's be honest, this is hardly news. That McGrath, Hayden, Symonds were (and indeed are - the distasteful attempt by McGrath and Hayden to try and re-brand themselves as loveable rogues and "fair dinkum" aussies is sick enducing) hateful individuals is old hat. It’s just amusing to see it formally confirmed bu Rudi. I note the photo attached to the story on Cricinfo is of that infamous incident when McGrath nearly physically assaulted the much smaller Sarwan in the Windies. That incident alone should have seen McGrath banned for a year. His snarling, vicious mouth spitting obscenities directly into Sarwan's face. Hayden was well known for being thoroughly distasteful throughout the game when he was fielding but would cry like a poncey hairdresser if anyone had a go back (step forward the mighty Simon Jones in the pre-Ashes 20 20 in 2005).
Hayden, McGrath, Symonds. Classic bullies. Never afraid to hand it out, but simply could not take it if anything was given back. Preening, loud mouthed, obnoxious bullies. Lauded in Australia but despised and derided everywhere else. This is why players like Tendulker, Dravid, Pollock etc are still celebrated and would be welcome back to Lords any day, while McGrath prances about with his ludicrous pink cancer charity, and Hayden tries to sell the benefits of going to some pisspoor feeble Queensland based water park.
When the lists of great cricketers is made, McGrath and Hayden may well challenge based on pure stats, but they will always be viewed as hateful, aggressive yobs with no redeeming characteristics whatsoever. Good riddance.