Inspired by a certain yogurt advertising campaign, this is a phrase Yates has had floating around his mind for a while. It occasionally gets an airing as part of the phrase “Better to lick the lid of life than the Window Of Stupidity”. The last couple of days has seen the Window Of Stupidity take one hell of a licking thanks to the antics and poor management in the Aussie cricket team.
Yates has no issue with desires for professionalism. Maybe Arthur & Clarke have seen the error of their ways so far and said “enough is enough”. As a result they have screwed consistency and a clear message without drama and made themselves and Cricket Australia a laughing stock. Ijaz Butt, Justin Vaughan and Ernest Hilaire must be wetting themselves with laughter.
Pat Howard’s recent performances have not helped in the slightest. Yates thinks everyone knows by now that Pat Howard was a rugby union player and coach for Leicester Tigers and played for Australia. Howard has the title of (Management Bullshit Alert Klaxon!!!) Executive General Manager of Team Performance. Now Yates has seen and worked with some exceptional managers and leaders so knows that some skills and thought processes are transferable if done with common sense and the forethought so seriously lacking in Arthur & Clarke’s decision making so far.
However, not everyone is a Sir Clive Woodward. Just like test teams the world over have been seeking Adam Gilchrist like performances from their wicket keepers since he explosively redfined the keeper/batsman role, it seems that some sporting organisations are trying to find other Sir Clive Woodwards. The Tour Manager is another “rugger bugger”, one Gavin Dovey. Well here’s some news for Cricket Australia:
Not everyone in rugby is Sir Clive Woodward. “Transferable” skills aren’t always that transferable in real life.
And let’s be honest here, in Howard and Dovey you guys ain’t got anything like Sir Clive Woodward.
James Pattinson’s grovelling apology was as pathetic a performance as I’ve seen from an Aussie cricketer in a long time. But to be fair to the lad he’s not been in the team for all that long and is doing what he’s been advised to so he can keep his place in the team. Yates is a fan of players flipping the bird to governing bodies when they foul up, so is firmly on Shane Watson’s side. Especially if he’s been singled out just because of this one minor infraction.
Mickey Arthur taking issue with “high skinfolds” is a laugh. He’s no Ravishing Rick Rude himself. When KP and Andy Flower made their comments about Samit Patel you couldn’t mock them for being out of shape. “Wearing the wrong attire” is something that could and should have been avoided by Cricket Australia having up to date cards showing what to wear for what game and occasion. Not rocket science. You don’t need James Burke on your team to realise this stuff.
“Backchat” and “giving attitude” smacks of control freaks upset with critical or mocking responses. Arthur & Clarke damn sure aren’t Mr Perfect and if they want a team of clones or pre programmed idiots then fine, CA can let them have that but they won’t win the Ashes with that team. I’m not sure Clarke is anywhere near being an Allan Border type of character either.
Never mind the bulldust abour drawing a line in the sand. Those can get washed away by tides or people urinating on them. What Arthur & Clarke have done is backed themselves into a corner. They may well want high standards but their behaviour over the last 48 hours has lacked forethought and consistency. Pat Howard’s blundering can’t help matters either. Demanding standards cuts both ways: Arthur & Clarke say they want things done a particular way. Well, fine and dandy. But they must now exceed the standards they demand from their players.
Not only that they must make clear their vision, the journey to that vision, its milestones, timscales and the accountabilities that everyone will be held to. And Yates means everyone. Senior players, junior players, new players, nerd herd, Arthur & Clarke themselves. The players deserve that and the Aussie public deserves that. If Arthur &/or Clarke slip from those standards then the Aussie public and media will go apes**t on their backsides. If you demand high standards you are committing to getting the best results. If there isn’t an Aussie Ashes win then Arthur might find himself replaced.
Here’s a thought: If Clarke is known for his thoroughness why couldn’t he get his tattoo right?
The Window Of Stupidity is very big and many people lick it. Some don’t like the taste and keep away from it. Some seem to love it and keep coming back to it. Time will tell whether Arthur & Clarke are the former or the latter.