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Anderson hit "arrogant" Michael Clarke

By Chris Pike
11 October 2012 12:45PM EST

AUSTRALIAN Test star Damien Martyn encouraged Jimmy Anderson to hit Michael Clarke with a cricket pad because of his arrogant dressing room antics, the English fast bowler has claimed.

In astonishing admissions from the English speedster in his autobiography, he recounts the drunken ill-discipline that dogged the English team as they stumbled to a 5-0 Ashes whitewash in 2006/07.

But the Lancashire swing bowler also revealed that in the dressing room after what would become Martyn’s last ever Test in Adelaide, Clarke’s “arrogant manner” was such that the veteran middle order star encouraged Anderson to take physical action.

“To be fair, the Australians displayed great levels of humility throughout that Test series, except that is for Michael Clarke, in the aftermath of Adelaide, where we prised defeat from the gums of a well-chewed draw,” Anderson wrote.

“While others chatted with opposite numbers about the game, Clarke was being a complete pain, whistling away to himself and carrying on in a most arrogant manner.

“I said as much to Damien Martyn, who I was sat chatting to at the time, and, looking down at my feet, added: ‘See this pad here, I really want to wrap it around his head.’

“‘Do it,’ Martyn replied, completely straight-faced.

“Now while Martyn was notorious for being someone who did not mix particularly well with his own teammates, and was not close to anyone, preferring to be something of a lone wolf, his bullish attitude nevertheless took me aback.

“I looked at him again as if to ask: ‘Are you sure?’

“‘Do it!’ he repeated.

“As I’d had a couple of beers, I didn’t need a second invitation, so I picked this pad up and cuffed Clarke with it, making the biggest thud imaginable in the process, and causing everyone in the room to stop nattering. For a split second there was complete silence.

“‘What the f**k ya doing?’ he snarled.

“Naturally, the temperature in the room had risen and the sensible thing to do was to cool it by cutting the night short and leaving.

"For once that winter, we did the sensible thing.”

Martyn shockingly retired after the Adelaide Test.

Anderson’s warts-and-all recounting of Duncan Fletcher’s team drowning their sorrows to the point of oblivion as Shane Warne and co handed them an Ashes humiliation included an admission of a drinking session led by Andrew Flintoff 36 hours before an one-day clash at the MCG.

“When you consider that we were an international sports team, it is shocking to consider what went on during that Ashes trip,” Anderson said.

“Typical of the drinking culture that had developed, a few of us really went for it one night. Not any night, mind: a night 36 hours before a one-day international.

“This escapade in Melbourne broke all the rules.

“There were no thoughts of anything heavy when Andrew Flintoff, Ed Joyce, Chris Read and I headed out from our Hyatt hotel base for the evening. We were just popping out for dinner and a glass of wine.

“But one thing led to another, a late night developed into an early morning and we ended up staggering back at 6am.

“Such was our lack of self-respect that we sneaked into fast-food joint Hungry Jack’s - Australia’s Burger King - for breakfast before nabbing an hour’s sleep.

"Hardly an ideal diet for an international sportsman, let alone one that was required on the bus for practice at nine o’clock that morning.”

England lost the game by eight wickets, with neither Flintoff or Anderson taking a wicket.

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