Sydney, Mar 13 (ANI): An Australian paper has obtained details of conduct breaches in the national cricket team that forced the management into taking the unprecedented action of suspending four players during their ongoing India tour.
Clarke and coach Mickey Arthur have defended the axing of the brazen four, Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja, saying it was the final straw following a series of indiscretions in recent months, News.com.au reports.
The pair did not detail other infractions and Cricket Australia (CA) high-performance chief Pat Howard also declined to elaborate when he fronted the media on Tuesday, it reported.
But now the precise nature of general tardiness that prompted Clarke and Arthur to take action has been revealed.
The various misdemeanors include players showing up late for team meetings and training sessions, missing medical and physiotherapy appointments, sleeping in and holding up the team bus, wearing the wrong uniforms, failing to consistently complete CA health and well-being forms, and recording fluctuating skin-folds, with some players deemed overweight.
The exact offenders are not known, but Clarke and Arthur became increasingly fed-up with the minor breaches they believe are undermining Australian cricket's professional standards, the paper added.
Underlining the attitudinal issues, Australian hierarchy had become so conditioned to players not completing a wellness form they were taken aback when every member submitted one over the weekend.
In recognition of the squad's youth, Clarke and Arthur had previously overlooked the breaches, but after two dismal Test showings against India, concerns grew that flagging off-field cultural standards, however minor, were damaging on-field performance. (ANI)