Jonathan Agnew Slams Aussie Sledging
Labelling the Australian on-field behaviour as a “disappointment”, the BBC commentator and former England Test bowler told the Radio Times that he believes the Australian side has failed to improve on its unsavoury form.
Agnew cited Michael Clarke’s eulogy at Hughes’ funeral, where the injured captain said Phillip’s spirit would “act as a custodian of the sport we all love.”
“Michael Clarke said very clearly that Hughes’ memory would run through the team, and would be in the way they would play their cricket,” Agnew said.
“Well, I haven’t seen evidence of that.”
Hughes was fatally hit on the neck just below the protection of his helmet by a fast delivery during a Sheffield Shield match in late November. His passing made international headlines and devastated members of the Australian outfit.
The Aussies came under fire for alleged sledging multiple times during the four-Test series, attacking visiting batsman Virat Kohli on a number of occasions and leading the star performer to say, “I like playing against Australia because it is very hard for them to stay calm.”
“It’s all you hear on a cricket field – ‘Knock his head off, knock his head off’,” Agnew said.
“Cricket has gone too far. It shouldn’t be posturing, abusing. I know there has been a lot of bad blood between Australia and India for some years now, but it was an opportunity.
“I have that Michael Clarke speech tucked away ready to throw at the Australians. If this is really how you feel, then let’s see how you play.”
“I really hoped that out of this tragedy might have come some good,” he added.
“But the players haven’t behaved any better, and I think that’s a real disappointment.”
Photo: Brett Hemmings (CA)/Getty Images.