“Do I regret calling Murali, no,” he told The Weekend Australian. “I regret what happened to me, but I don’t regret calling him.”
“Why not (call him) for chucking, it’s one part of 42 laws. What if I don’t like the lbw, do I not apply that? The one thing that did piss me off though was that every umpire in the world, certainly in Australia, thought that he chucked, but it was only Darrell (Hair) and me that had the guts to do it — or the integrity.”
“Now the ICC has started clamping down on chucking, why? Murali’s not playing any more — that’s why.”
“They needed Murali to play for Sri Lanka because he was what kept them competitive. Now that he’s gone and Chaminda Vaas is gone — he was a great bowler — they’re a rabble again.”
Forthright as usual, but this will attract more flak:
“South Africa and Zimbabwe are so racist they’ll only vote for the black countries, the West Indies are probably the most racist side in the world, so they’ll always vote with the black countries unless it’s a tour of England or Australia where they make their money and that leaves Australia, England and New Zealand.”
Way back in the original Summer of Kidding Ourselves 2009/10 (incidentally, the same summer Melbourne were kidding themselves recruiting Scully, Trengove, Gysberts and Tapscott) Australia smashed an underdone Windies at the Gabba, held on for a draw against an improved Windies at the SACA, and scrambled a squeaker at the WACA when dodgy DRSing closed out the Test. This was hailed as a fine result which would set us up for the 2010/11 Ashes.
This summer Australia smashed an underdone Windies at Blundrive, ground out a win against an improved Windies on the MCG, and now face the Windies on the SCG. This has been hailed as a result to set Australia up for the 2016/17 summer, while Melbourne has been hailed as a positive result for the Windies' future prospects. I can't remember if the 2009/10 Windies were similarly hailed, but if you look at the 2009 Windies line-up you'll see a fair bit of change and since they'd made such a good fist of fighting out the 2nd and 3rd Tests you'd assume there was plenty of "foundation to build on" and "future looks good" and "back in town". It remains to be seen whether the Windies are on the up, but we can only hope. (Especially in the face of last night's BBL monster match, and what T20 means for the future of Tests.)
Talk of dropping the Windies from the Test roster or reducing their tours to novelty status is, of course, utter rubbish. Someone has to be bad, and just because the Windies were great once, but are not now, is no reason to give them the bum's rush. It's just that a little middle ground would be nice. And they may yet be smashed in Sydney.
Meanwhile, Australia still have a rancid batting line-up in unfamiliar conditions, a fragile fast bowling attack, and a startling inability to live up to their reputation for great catching. At least Steve O'Keefe has a start, which will please all those who keep complaining there are never enough New South Welshman in the Test side.