A World Cup-winning captain, the person who orchestrated an Ashes whitewash and the one Australian to attain Take a look at centuries on his house and away debuts and a four-time Allan Border Medal winner.
From a cricket standpoint, it might be truthful to argue that not solely did Michael Clarke stay as much as expectations bestowed on him as a generational expertise, he maybe exceeded them.
However whereas the Australian will statistically go down as one of many greats of the fashionable period, he hasn’t earned the near-universal love reserved for a few of his contemporaries.
Michael Clarke has discovered himself within the headlines after a heated confrontation with TV host Karl Stefanovic in a Sunshine Coast park final week
From bursting onto the scenes with bleached blonde hair and an enormous earring to relationship a mannequin, Clarke didn’t match the stereotype many cricket followers had of a child from Sydney’s working-class suburb of Liverpool.
And his heated conflict with TV host Karl Stefanovic in a Sunshine Coast park earlier this month after he was accused of dishonest on girlfriend Jade Yarbrough is the newest entry in a listing of weird off-the-field incidents which have polarised public opinion.
Right here, Each day Mail Australia takes a have a look at a few of Clarke’s most controversial moments.
Australia’s ‘Posh and Becks’
Clarke went from newspaper sport pages to the entrance pages when he began relationship Lara Bingle in 2007.
The mixture of the clean-cut face of Australian cricket and the covergirl was Australian’s model of Posh and Becks.
Clarke and Bingle have been engaged in early 2008 and later that 12 months he copped flak for pulling out of Australia’s tour of the West Indies to attend her father’s funeral.
Ungenerous because the criticism was, it spoke volumes for a way Clarke had come to be regarded by some in Australia.
The nation’s cricketers have been meant to be hard-nosed characters like Ricky Ponting and Justin Langer or flamboyant, devil-may-care larrikins just like the late, nice Shane Warne.
Clarke and Lara Bingle dated from 2007 to 2010, when he broke off their engagement
Together with his penchant for sporting the newest style and spending $300,000 on an Aston Martin for his girlfriend, Clarke by no means fairly gained the hearts of the nation like a few of his colleagues did.
His relationship with Bingle finally resulted in March 2010, when an image of her within the bathe taken by then-AFL star Brendan Fevola was leaked and went viral.
Clarke left Australia’s tour of New Zealand to return house and break the engagement, earlier than rejoining his teammates and making an excellent ton.
Predictably, nevertheless, he was criticised for leaving the tour in some quarters – and blasted for returning to New Zealand in others.
Diamonds usually are not eternally
After breaking apart with Bingle, Clarke needed to confront rumours that he flushed her $200,000 engagement ring down the bathroom of his Bondi pad.
Absurd because the suggestion could have been, plumbers, maybe recognizing the chance for a canny advertising stunt, even appeared on the $6million complicated.
Clarke, nevertheless, has at all times maintained the rumors have been full ‘bulls**t’.
‘I might prefer to say I am a really foolish man. However I am not that foolish. I am not throwing any diamond ring down a rest room,’ he mentioned throughout an interview with 60 Minutes in 2016.
Clarke and Bingle on the Allan Border Medal ceremony in February 2010. The couple broke off their engagement only a month later
The 2009 SCG group tune fracas
The final Take a look at of the 2009 collection towards South Africa on the SCG needs to be remembered as Matthew Hayden’s remaining look for Australia. Or for Graeme Smith batting with a damaged hand because the Proteas turned the primary group to win a Take a look at collection in Australia for 15 years.
However each have been overshadowed by an unpleasant confrontation between opening batter Simon Katich and Clarke, who made an excellent 135 within the first innings, within the dressing room.
Clarke lashed out in frustration on the delays over the performing of Underneath the Southern Cross I Stand as a result of he had different plans away from the group – and Katich grabbed him by the throat because the confrontation escalated.
Clarke (proper) and Simon Katich have been concerned in an unpleasant confrontation on the SCG in 2009
It highlighted simply how completely different Clarke was from the likes of Katich, who was an old-school, blue-collar cricketer.
A month later, it emerged Clarke was anxious to depart the SCG as he had a reserving at a bar to have a good time the tip of the Take a look at summer season.
The main points of the confrontation have been solely laid naked in 2016, when Clarke advised his model of occasions in his autobiography.
In it he claimed Katich and Michael Hussey, who was then in control of the group tune, orchestrated the delay to intentionally annoy him and spoil his plans.
Clarke claimed Katich grabbed him by the throat because the state of affairs turned heated and felt his teammate was on the verge of bodily attacking him
‘Huss [Hussey] and ‘Kato’ [Katich] appear to be having fun with the delay increasingly more, notably at my expense,’ Clarke wrote.
‘I believe I hear them say one thing like: ‘F***it, let’s make him wait a bit longer’. After which I lose it.
‘Dangle on, you are doing this out of spite, you f***ing canines. Have the balls to say it to my face. Kato fires up: ‘What did you say?’
‘I mentioned have the balls to say it to my face, you weak c**s.’
‘Prepare for a damaged f***ing arm’
Vibrant language wasn’t completely reserved for Clarke’s teammates, both. Within the opening Take a look at of the 2013-14 Ashes collection on the Gabba, Clarke warned England’s Jimmy Anderson to anticipate a vicious welcome on the crease.
‘Face up, then. Prepare for a damaged f*****g arm. Face up,’ got here the warning from the then-Australia captain, which was picked up by the stumps mic.
Clarke’s confrontational method could have gotten the juices flowing amongst admirers of hard-nosed Aussie cricket, however he later revealed he regretted the episode.
Clarke (proper) had a heated confrontation with James Anderson (left) through the opening Take a look at of the 2013-14 Ashes collection on the Gabba
Clarke warned Anderson to ‘prepare for a damaged f***ing arm’, however he subsequently admitted he regretted the language he used
‘I remorse the language I used and I remorse that I mentioned it over the stump mic,’ he mentioned in 2014.
‘I believe it is unacceptable that the Australian cricket captain is setting that instance.’
Australia whitewashed England, however Anderson escaped with none bodily harm. Actually, he is taken 345 Take a look at wickets since.
Threatening handy again the dishevelled inexperienced
If Clarke’s perspective off the sphere usually proved divisive, his method on the sphere could possibly be simply as polarising.
Shortly after making his debut, the Sydneysider even threatened handy again his dishevelled inexperienced after being requested to area at bat-pad instead of Justin Langer.
‘Justin Langer could not go bat-pad as a result of he had head accidents,’ Matthew Hayden mentioned in 2015.
‘We would have liked somebody and often it goes to the youngest within the facet. He [Clarke] mentioned: ‘If I’ve to put on that [the helmet at bat-pad], I’ll hand my dishevelled inexperienced again’.
‘In hindsight we must always have mentioned: ‘Mate, that is precisely what’s going to occur, we may have your dishevelled inexperienced again and that is the best way it would roll.’
Hayden, nevertheless, conceded that Clarke ‘learnt from that, he turned a significantly better individual and a significantly better participant by these classes’.
Matthew Hayden (center again row) revealed Clarke (left) threatened handy again his Saggy Inexperienced after being requested to area at bat-pad early in his profession
Clarke’s ‘very poisonous’ captaincy
‘Pup’ had seemed like Australia’s captain-elect since making his Take a look at debut and he finally took on the mantle in 2011 when Ricky Ponting stepped down.
Clarke gained 24 of his 47 Exams as skipper and his captaincy was a roller-coaster. If the excessive level was a whitewash over England within the 2013-14 Ashes, there have been lots to low factors to select from.
Australia misplaced the Ashes in England in 2013 and 2015, with Clarke criticising the perspective of some gamers on the previous tour as a ‘tumour’.
A 4-0 thrashing in India in 2013 got here as Clarke and then-coach Mickey Arthur suspended 4 gamers, together with Mitchell Johnson, in what turned generally known as the ‘homework saga’.
Mitchell Johnson (left) claimed beneath Clarke’s captaincy the ambiance within the Australian group turned ‘very poisonous’ with a number of gamers not desirous to play
Talking in 2016, the previous Aussie fast revealed simply how badly the ambiance soured beneath Clarke.
‘It wasn’t a group. There have been completely different little factions occurring and it was very poisonous,’ he mentioned in 2016.
‘It wasn’t a really pleasant place to be and also you’re purported to be having fun with your self if you’re taking part in on your nation.
‘It was a reasonably dangerous expertise, dangerous time, a few us did not need to play.’
Simon Katich’s central contract controversy
Shortly after Clarke took over the captaincy in 2011, Katich was surprisingly minimize from the record of Cricket Australia’s centrally contracted gamers.
The opening batter had been a rock for Australia, averaging 50.48 in 33 Exams on the prime of the order, and he pinned his demotion to the 2009 fracas on the SCG.
‘You do not have to be Einstein to determine that it is not simply the selectors that had an element in sending me on my method,’ he mentioned in a thinly veiled dig at Clarke in 2011.
Katich (left) controversially misplaced his central contract with Cricket Australia simply months after Clarke changed Ricky Ponting as captain in 2011
The latter, nevertheless, has at all times maintained he performed no function in Katich getting bumped down.
‘I’ve no say in who will get a contract,’ he mentioned on the Big Sports Breakfast two years in the past.
‘Simon Katich was not dropped from a group after I was captain of Australia or after I was a selector.’
‘You understand nothing’
Clarke has moved into broadcasting after retiring and hosts the Massive Sports activities Breakfast on Sky Sports activities Radio. However he has misplaced none his fiery perspective regardless of swapping the whites for the sales space, as a spat with veteran NRL journalist Phil Rothfield final 12 months confirmed.
Clarke cricitised referee Ashley Klein’s dealing with of the brutal elimination remaining between the Sydney Roosters and South Sydney, solely to be advised to maintain his opinion to himself as ‘you understand nothing about rugby league’.
Clarke fired again: ‘You understand every little thing since you performed 100 Take a look at matches? Proceed,’ he mentioned.
‘You watch the identical TV I watch. I’ve watched it for 41 years, you’ve got watched it for 80. You’ve got performed the very same quantity of Origin video games as me.’