Ramiz: Bad behaviour has been rewarded

New Delhi: Four former captains, two each from India and Pakistan, spoke to The Telegraph on Shane Watson getting to captain Australia owing to the non-availability of Michael Clarke.

Less than a fortnight ago, Watson and three others had been disciplined by coach Mickey Arthur. That decision had Clarke's support and was endorsed by Cricket Australia's Board as well.

Watson even went home for a few days, officially to be with wife Lee, in the lead-up to the birth of their first child.

Cricket has seen strange happenings. The drama over Watson has to figure somewhere at the very top.

The following (seniority-wise) are excerpts

KAPIL DEV: Most of the cricketing world looks up to Australia for the way they run their cricket. But if this is the standard for managing acts of indiscipline, then I don't know what to say...

I'd like to know what's discipline and what's not... Disciplining somebody for one match and making him captain in the very next has been unheard of. I can't recall any instance. Surely, this can't be disciplining...

The turn of events doesn't fit into the way I look at cricket.

RAVI SHASTRI: Watson getting the captaincy could look odd, but the message has been conveyed, which is that you can be stood down for a Test... That you could be disciplined...

What's important is that all four players were available for this Test... It's not that Watson wasn't, owing to being disciplined, and yet was given the captaincy...

I guess the Australians have moved on from what happened last week. Also, Watson was the vice-captain and he hadn't been stripped of that position.

RAMIZ RAJ

#CC0000A:

I wouldn't have made Watson the captain... This has been bizarre, extremely bizarre... Very strange...

Australia boasts of good management, has a history of performances... You could relate the happenings to an Asian environment, but not to Australia. My view is that bad behaviour has been rewarded...

In fact, from the beginning, this business of indiscipline wasn't handled properly... The four players could have been warned and any penal action kept on hold...

The bonding bit, I suppose, has gone for a six... Those who fell in line, gave the presentations, must be feeling betrayed...

How can somebody, regarded by a senior administrator (general manager Pat Howard) as one who only occasionally played for the team, get the captaincy? Beats me.

WASIM AKRAM: Well, maybe, I wouldn't have made Watson the captain... At the same time, I wouldn't have given a written presentation either...

We took to cricket to avoid studies and if the coach wanted me to write an essay, I would have asked him to go to hell... Come on, we're cricketers, not aspiring to top in academics...

Personally, I think dropping four players for one Test was too harsh a punishment for what seems a small matter. If there was more to it, that should have been communicated to the world...

Having said that, I'm all for discipline and my stand on the issue shouldn't be misunderstood.

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