Howard and Watson in a battle for their cricket futures

Kurt Sorensen Roar Guru

11 Have your say

    It’s electrolytes at dawn as Pat Howard and Shane Watson appear to be locked in Australian cricket;s version of the Thunderdome.

    It’s clear that in the wash up of this implosion only one man will move ahead within the Australian cricket team set up.

    Two men enter, one man leaves.

    Pat Howard landed the first blow with his, I think he (Watson) acts in the best interests of the team sometimes,” remark.

    A breathtaking example of a backhanded snipe, one for which even Rodney Dangerfield would have been proud.

    What made the statement even more loaded was Howard’s knowledge that Watson would have been well and truly sky high on a flight back to Australia.

    Howard was either unaware that Watson’s arrival would be met with an army of journalists rapid-firing questions at the vice-captain or, more likely, he deliberately left the door open to see if or how Watson wanted to respond under pressure and on the spur of the moment.

    If Howard thought Watson would develop a sudden need to lie down and admit his wrongs, he was sorely mistaken.

    The Australian vice-captain arrived home to be confronted with the statements he had not heard, made by a foe for which he obviously has little respect.

    Asked if he was disappointed in Howard’s words, Watson replied with a quick ‘yes’.

    He then had his own Dangerfield moment when he mentioned that he and captain Michael Clarke had known each other since they were 12 through playing with and against each other.

    He then referred to the fact Howard has been around Watson, Clarke and the game for just one year, the clear inference being that Watson knows Clarke and the machinations of the current situation much better than Howard could.

    Watson was asked several questions surrounding the situation with Michael Clarke and their working relationship, and as a result of his answers a stalemate has ensued.

    Watson effectively called Howard a liar by saying there is no issue at all with Clarke.

    Earlier Howard had stated he and coach Mickey Arthur have the full support of Michael Clarke and that Watson needs to sort out his issues with the captain.

    Confusion reigns.

    Someone is telling the truth (or close to it), and somebody is obviously stretching it.

    It’s a bad look for both professionals and one that neither should have let occur.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, yesterday saw one of the ‘Mohali four’ demonstrate contriteness in having no excuse for not completing the task set by team management.

    James Pattinson is one of the youngest members of the touring squad, but he is seemingly one that understands diplomacy and the strength of improving team morale.

    Whether or not you agree, disagree or are blissfully ambivalent to what has been absurdly referred to as ‘homeworkgate’, the publicly displayed calmness of Pattinson’s statements fly in the face of the explosiveness of the conflict between his vice-captain and high performance manager.

    Pattinson’s refusal of the task set may have been a young man’s mistake, and he may still believe he was harshly dealt with.

    But unlike the comments of Howard and Watson, Pattinson’s subsequent statements and handling of his situation reflects the professionalism required in modern cricket, for better or for worse.

    For the love of the game, I hope the current ridiculousness dissipates quickly.

    The small matter of a cricket match against India has been rendered sadly insignificant, perhaps the biggest shame in this tawdry and boring affair.

    Pat Howard and Shane Watson may need to perform some more ‘homework’ in reflecting on their positions as representatives of Australian Cricket.

    Not allowing internal team squabbles to turn into a public fight to the death might be a good place to start.

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • March 13th 2013 @ 7:34am
      Red Kev said | March 13th 2013 @ 7:34am | ! Report

      It was very interesting that Pattinson said “we” fronted the squad and apologised and accept the decision etc…Yet only he fronted the press.
      I wonder if he was a nominated spokesman or just the only one who was genuinely sorry…or as the cynic in me suggests, the only one who truly understands that to get ahead you have to make those above you like you.

      • March 13th 2013 @ 3:24pm
        Sanjay said | March 13th 2013 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

        After this series we need to look carefully at our structure and see if a change is required.

    • March 13th 2013 @ 8:47am
      Ash said | March 13th 2013 @ 8:47am | ! Report

      Whilst I’m not sure that the punishment fit the crime, especially for some young blokes who could well have been following their vice-captains lead, a true team man and quality vice-captain would never abandon the team as Shane Watson has done. My guess is that this is what Pat Howard was referring to with his comments. I would hope that he has played his last game for Australia as a leadership player and think he would need to work extremely hard to work his way back into the team at all.

      • Roar Rookie

        March 13th 2013 @ 10:13am
        Reccymech said | March 13th 2013 @ 10:13am | ! Report

        Out of all of this ‘he said – she said’ stuff, and the homeworkgate I’m looking at how Shane Watson as in his capacity as Vice-Captain acted in a most un Vice-Captain like fashion. He, like it or not is part of the leadership group, therefore, should be acting as such. No such qualities did I see in his recalcitrant attitude.

        • March 13th 2013 @ 11:01am
          Disco said | March 13th 2013 @ 11:01am | ! Report

          Watson’s never shown such qualities. He’s always seemed to be battling mentally to work out his own game.

          Added to that, he’s not really worth his place in the Test team anyway.

      • March 13th 2013 @ 7:42pm
        tenash said | March 13th 2013 @ 7:42pm | ! Report


        watson abondoning the team ????

        mate he came home to his heavily pregnant wife whose about to give birth to his 1st child

        get to know the whole truth before assassinating someone’s character

        cause i seem to remember CLARKE leaving the Aussie side in NZ to coddle with his model GF BINGLE

    • March 13th 2013 @ 11:19am
      Hairy Pear said | March 13th 2013 @ 11:19am | ! Report

      They should both go. Watson is selfish & Howard is not in control.

      • March 13th 2013 @ 3:25pm
        Sanjay said | March 13th 2013 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

        Alot of fans are thinking this, but i will see how they get treated in the 4th test, if Patts and KHawaja come in as normal then all is fine and a lesson was made for the rest of the team, if not then something is not right.

    • March 13th 2013 @ 6:18pm
      Dcnz said | March 13th 2013 @ 6:18pm | ! Report

      Gee Pup has shown himself to be a political player …

      watto lands in Sydney speaks to pup they talk about the pat Howard comments and Watto firmly fires back at Howard …

    • March 13th 2013 @ 8:17pm
      Mike from tari said | March 13th 2013 @ 8:17pm | ! Report

      I was shocked when Howard got the job, he was not any good as the ARU High Performance Manager, he knocked back League players for Union said they weren’t good enough.
      But what I can’t understand how he fits in between the CEO & the Coach & Captain, Cricket Australia is a real basket case, they need to get rid of Sutherland & bring in Phil Gould.

    • March 13th 2013 @ 8:46pm
      baldy by the sea said | March 13th 2013 @ 8:46pm | ! Report

      Mickey ARTHER should go and take Pat HOWARD with him, What was to stop ARTHURS going to the rooms of those who did not fill in the questionaire and have a word to them. ARTHURS looks at every balled bowled in a Test and cannot work out where we are going wrong ! CLARKE is not out of the woods either – Simon KATICH wanted a team drink after a days play but no the Captain had to see a friend. Michael HUSSEY plays his last game and just wanted a to sit around with teamates and have a beer and a chat – no CLARKE wanted to go his way on the harbourl. Just as well you are one of the best batsman in World cricket Michael because you have much to learn as a team player.

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