Former Australia player and selector Mark Waugh got into bitter social media spat with a sports journalist over the One Day International team selection, asking him to leave the job to experts.
Waugh stood down from his position as selector last year but defended the current panel when ESPNCricinfo journalist Daniel Brettig suggested that Australia was late to wake up to the advantages of having two spinners.
The former player jumped on to the tweet and said that it was a job easier in hindsight, with the war of words escalating as Waugh said that Bretting had no clue about what he reported on.
Australia has not often play two specialist spinners in ODIs until Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon teamed up for three games in India, where the world champions fought back from 0-2 to win the series. Instead Zampa or Lyon had a part-timer spinner with them.
This prompted chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns to admit that the two spinner attak should have been considered earlier.
“Most teams around the world seem to be including one at least and probably two spinners in their World Cup squad. We expect them to. We can’t bury our heads in the sand and just say we’re going with fast bowlers when spinners in world cricket, and in one-day cricket in particular, are being very, very successful,” Hohns was quoted as saying.
But when Bretting shared this excerpt on Twitter pointing out that Hohns has been a selector since 2016, it didn’t go down too well.
When Bretting cross questioned him brining in England’s Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid as examples, the matter escalated. “One thing I’ve noticed with you Daniel is you’re a good judge after the ball has bounced. I’m pretty sure we won the last World Cup. Leave the selecting up to the experts,” Waugh responded.
To another user he said, “Everyone is entitled to a opinion the difference is selectors have to make a call on players each game and don’t have the luxury to be experts after the event like some journalists.”
Australia are currently playing an ODI series against Pakistan in UAE and will soon select the team to defend their title for the World Cup to be held in England and Wales from May.
This won’t be the first time that former players have tried to shut down journalists with the argument that they haven’t played cricket. India coach Ravi Shastri has often resorted to this defence in the face of criticism as well.