Clarke won't apologise for Aussie aggression

Australia

Australia Test captain Michael Clarke has denied being part of a crass and rude team, as accused by former New Zealand batsman Martin Crowe, and says he won't apologise for playing the game in an aggressive yet 'fair' manner.

Australia Test captain Michael Clarke has denied being part of a crass and rude team, as accused by former New Zealand batsman Martin Crowe, and says he won't apologise for playing the game in an aggressive yet 'fair' manner.

After Australia's win against England, and then in South Africa, many Down Under felt Clarke and co.'s antics on the field, some of which were caught on the stump mics, went a bit too far in terms of the 'spirit of cricket' but Clarke has defended his actions.

He did apologise at the time for an altercation with England's James Anderson, who was batting against Mitchell Johnson and warned to 'get ready for a broken f*#@in' arm', and was fined for it as it was caught on live TV.

Clarke told <i>ESPNcricinfo</i>: "Firstly Martin Crowe's certainly entitled to his opinion, like the rest of us. I think we play our cricket hard on the field but I think as Australians we understand and respect there's a line you can't cross.

"I made no bones about the incident in Brisbane and what I said to James Anderson wasn't appropriate, especially being over stump mic where boys and girls can hear that, and I did the same with the Dale Steyn incident (they had to be pushed apart).

"Sometimes when you're playing sport at the highest level, emotions come out for people to see, and I think that's a great thing about our game. But we understand there's a line you can't cross. You can go close to it, but you can't cross it.

"I think generally Australians play cricket extremely fairly, and play sport extremely fairly. I can tell you in my career 100 different instances like those that nobody knows about, because it's not over the stump mic, or you can't see it first-hand."

Clarke went on to say that no matter what goes on in the middle, he and his players have a good relationship with the other international teams (except maybe for the West Indies, in James Faulkner's case), and that the ICC kept a close eye on 'the line'.

He said: "The Australian way is to play tough, non-compromising cricket on the field. I think if you speak to a lot of the other [international] players you'll find that we're very social off the field, we go out of our way to make sure we see the other team, win, lose or draw, after a game.

"But with that we understand there's a line you can't cross and I think generally we're pretty good on that.

"The integrity of the game's crucial, we all know that as players, and certainly as captain of Australia that's a big part of my job to make sure that we always uphold the integrity of the game.

"With those sorts of things, when you're out of line you get pulled up by CA or the ICC anyway, so there's things in place to ensure you don't overstep that mark."

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