Ian Chappell backs ‘lively character’ Clarke to hold court in Oz dressing room as skipper

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

SYDNEY - Former Australian cricketer Ian Chappell insists that Michael Clarke is a very capable leader and communicator, and has the right manner to hold court in the Australian dressing room.

Chappell’s comments come over talks that Clarke, regarded as Ricky Ponting’s heir, did not have the complete support of teammates and some Cricket Australia board members.

“Going back even to the cricket academy days I always liked ‘Clarkey’. He was a very lively character, very confident, but also very respectful,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Chappell, as saying.

“Because a lot of the best stuff you can do working with cricketers is chiacking them, pretty quickly I summed up that ‘Clarkey’ was the sort of fellow who would handle that, no problem. He gave back every bit as good as you gave him, but never in a cocky or disrespectful manner.”

“It is very important that you’ve got to be yourself, and I think that’ll be a bit harder for Michael because of his celebrity status that he’s acquired. But he’s going to have to hit that fine balance between being himself and not alienating too many people, which is not always an easy balance to hit,” he added.

According to reports, Clarke’s leadership and attitude were both called into question by his teammates following the 2-1 defeat in the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka.

However, Clarke had dismissed a rift within the team saying that he felt “a lot of respect” from his teammates.

“For the stuff in the change-room you’d have to ask the other guys, but I certainly feel the guys have shown me a lot of respect when I’ve had the opportunity to captain, and I’ve really enjoyed it,” Clarke had said.

“I enjoyed the other night when Ricky wasn’t there, and I’m really enjoying being vice-captain under Ricky Ponting,” he added. (ANI)

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