Sydney: Blasting cricketers for jeopardising their preparations during the Ashes series, Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland said Michael Clarke and Phillip Hughes made a “supreme error of judgment” in attending functions on the morning of Tests.
Clarke and Hughes attended the Shane Warne Foundation breakfast on the opening morning of the Boxing Day Test. The pair was interviewed at 7.30am at Crown Casino before returning to the team hotel.
Hughes would later make only 16 and Clarke 20 as the hosts were bowled out for just 98 in only 42.5 overs on day one, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Clarke was also a guest at breakfast functions during his home Sydney Test, even though he had the added responsibility of being stand-in skipper for injured Ricky Ponting.
“That was a supreme error of judgment on their part. The players decided that of their own will. I would be surprised if we see that happening again. You don’t leave yourself open to the chance of criticism. As a professional footballer, you would never do that,” Sutherland said.
Sutherland’s comments follow similar criticism from former Australian Cricket Board chairman Malcolm Gray, who felt players had become too obsessed by their own “celebrity” status.
Australian coach Tim Nielsen, who had the power to stop the players from attending such functions, had attended a breakfast function during the Perth Test.
The issue of player preparation will be a focus of a major review of the summer by CA.