Perth: On the eve of the ODI series against West Indies, Michael Clarke took a diplomatic on Shane Warne's article in which the former legspinner lashed out at Cricket Australia's high performance chief Pat Howard and CA's rotation policy in his list of recommendations to take Australian cricket forward.
Not wanting to get caught in the crossfire, the Australian captain was discreet in his remarks and praised both Warne and Howard. "Warnie and I are great friends and we always will be. Everybody's entitled to their opinion, and he's certainly earned the right to voice his opinion on Australian cricket. I speak to Warnie often about things I can do personally to improve my game. Not only has he been a great friend, but he's a mentor to me as well," said Clarke on Thursday.
"Pat Howard has been doing a fantastic job. A lot of people will take a lot of notice of what Warnie has to say. But people have jobs and are trying to do that job to the best of their ability. And that's all we can do. I'm a part of that as well. The people who make the decisions on who gets employed, they'll definitely take notice. They'll read what Warnie had to say. And I'm sure they'll do whatever they have to do."
In the first part of his treatise, Warne strongly recommended the appointment of Mark Taylor as the CEO of Australian cricket, and put forward the names of Rod Marsh for chairman and Mark Waugh, Damian Martyn and Glenn McGrath as national selectors. For the role of a coach, he suggested captain Stephen Fleming whom he rated as the best opposition captain he played against.
Meanwhile, the national coach Mickey Arthur asserted that Warne is living in a 'dream world'. "It's just not possible [to always pick your best team] with the amount of time the players have at their disposal. He's living in a dream world and clearly he's not up with the times," Arthur told 6PR Radio in Perth.
"We don't sit there and rotate players and think, 'he is going to play here and he is going to play here and there'. What we do, is we manage our players. So it's about player management. If there is a player who is not 100 percent fit, we don't take the risk with him. We want guys that are going out on the field 100 percent fine and ready to go all of the time."
The Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle, Warne's fellow Victorian, stated that the 43-year-old is just seeking limelight. "That's just Warnie being Warnie. Warnie has done that when he played. He just likes the limelight."