The Courier-Mail

Team should share the blame

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VICTORIES are team victories, and defeats are team defeats. Blame is best shared when dreams go awry, and sport – especially cricket, the quintessen­tial team game – is no exception.

Michael “Pup” Clarke had an Ashes series memorable for all the wrong reasons. But so, too, did his teammates, coaches, managers and selectors. The Ashes defeat was a spectacula­r loss for the whole of Cricket Australia – a point coach Darren Lehmann made yesterday after Clarke announced his retirement. Lehmann admits he and fellow cricketing great Rod Marsh have failed in their role as selectors, a concession that will see much of the Australian team overhauled.

Australia’s great cricketing strength has always been balancing experience with youth and vigour. For far too long that balance has been out of kilter, and it’s time older players followed Clarke’s selfless decision and retire.

Cricket is more than a sport to us; it’s part of our national identity as a young, cheeky country able to beat fusty England. It’s time Cricket Australia remembered that, and produced a team well placed to thrash the Poms in two years’ time.

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