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Twitter posts not helping Clarke's public image


January 25, 2011 - Melbourne

Australian cricket vice-captain Michael Clarke continues to alienate himself from the nation's public with his off-field actions.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Clarke's comments on the social network site Twitter have left his fans dissatisfied. The responses to his Twitter comments show that he is mostly unloved by cricket fans and the sporting public.

For instance, on Saturday, with Australia's World Cup plans were in chaos after serious injuries to Nathan Hauritz and Shaun Tait in the previous night's one-day international, Clarke was playing romantic matchmaker for Steve Smith.

"Trying to find a date for Steve Smith to take to the AB medal??" Clarke tweeted.

And a minute later, he said: "You can tweet me with your expressions of interest . . ."

The public view is that surely Clarke has more pressing matters to worry about, such as scoring a few runs and captaining his side through times of turmoil?

Australian sports fans like their cricket captains to be straightforward, no-nonsense types. The sort of hard-nut men who would have your back if you were stuck in the trenches.

Tough guys like Steve Waugh, who famously eyeballed Curtly Ambrose and who never took a backwards step to anyone, and Border, who almost single-handedly revived Australia with his ruthless streak. Ricky Ponting may not be everyone's cup of tea as a captain but at least you know what you are getting.

As far as Clarke is concerned, fans question whether there is a need for him to alter his public image.

The problem with Clarke is that no one can relate to him because no one really knows who he is.

It has always been important for Australian cricket to have a captain who is respected - and hopefully idolised - but Clarke just isn't hitting the right notes.

For all Clarke's faults, there is a very decent individual and smart cricket brain lurking underneath the tattoos and bleached hair.

If the public could see that side of Clarke - rather than the man who sets up dates for teammates on social networking sites - he would probably be embraced.

ANI

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