“I wanted to play, but you can’t have everything”.
The words of Michael Hussey to Channel Nine after being disgracefully dumped by the national selectors from the One Day International (ODI) squad for the first two games against Sri Lanka at the MCG on Friday, and Adelaide on Sunday.
“It’s futile to extend the 37-year-old’s career,” was one of selection chairman John Inverarity’s pathetic comments.
The reaction from the 10,000-plus at the SCG yesterday sounded more like 40,000 supporting Mike Hussey.
“Futile” from Inverarity’s point of view. Total support from the SCG patrons who obviously know their cricket better than the chairman and his four selection colleagues.
The Hussey charisma took a lot of the sting out of his dumping, he’s a gentleman to the marrow of his bones, while Inverarity sat in the stand with Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards, going through some left-arm bowling actions, totally oblivious to the fact he has become the joke of Australian cricket.
Let’s look to Friday at the MCG with Michael Clarke, David Warner, and Matthew Wade rested, and Mike Hussey dumped. What will the crowd be like with so much talent not on show?
Last night there was an Australian domestic record 46,581 crowd for the Melbourne BBL local derby between the Stars and the Renegades, which erupted into open warfare between Shane Warne and Marlon Samuels.
That warfare was a side issue, the 46,581 is the real issue.
On Friday, with Clarke, Warner, Wade, and Hussey missing, will there be less than 46,581?
Or will Melbourne fans, the best in the world, vote with their feet to watch Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, and Phil Hughes – selected as the future of Australian ODI cricket – strut their stuff?
It’s a big punt.
Not that Inverarity would care, his job is to select national teams in three formats, a job in which he is falling well short of the pass mark. His public explanations are even worse.
Let’s see what the backlash to Hussey’s dumping produces for the last eight ODIs of the season.
If Inverarity sticks to his guns and leaves Hussey out altogether, there will be increasing demands for the chairman to be dumped. And valid demands at that.
Inverarity is now between a rock and a hard place, with no-one to blame but himself.
The sad net result is the treatment dished out to Hussey, without peer in the respect shown to him by team-mates, opposition, and fans all round the world.
Mike Hussey didn’t deserve such shabby treatment. It leaves a bad taste.