The Evil Empire in twilight?

by Leveret

The former England test batsman Ed Smith thinks so – the overwhelming reason being that they have discarded the old ways of hardness for a new-found pusillanimity:

Rod Marsh’s coaching advice was simple: ‘Sort it out for yourself.’ That spirit ran through the great tradition. Bradman taught himself to bat by hitting a golf ball against a wall with a stick. Learning to bat was another form of looking after yourself, like pitching a tent in the outback

Apparently much blame is due to Pup:

Michael Clarke, Australia’s captain-in-waiting, can play off drives so elegant that they make you weep. But former captains — and there have only been 42 Australian captains in 130 years — are now questioning his durability and toughness. Clarke had to leave a tour to New Zealand due to personal problems in his relationship with the actress and model Lara Bingle. To a generation of cricketers who remember the births of their children by how many runs they got for their state that week, to abandon smashing the Kiwis for a sheila back in Sydney was a worrying sign.

Last year there was a much-reported spat between Clarke and Simon Katich. Australia had just won a Test and there was a disagreement about whether singing the team song should be brought forward to allow certain individuals to pop into the roped-off VIP area of a local nightclub. A what?

Hard to argue with. Compare that top picture with this for God’s sake:

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