Tim Paine: Australia not concerned about being liked one bit

Australia's focus should be on winning, not being liked, says Michael Clarke, but Tim Paine insists results remain the team's highest priority.

Australia captain Tim Paine: "No one has spoken about being liked, certainly not by the opposition."   -  Getty Images

Tim Paine has disputed former captain Michael Clarke's claims that Australia has become too concerned about "being liked" in recent months. The team was widely criticised following the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March, prompting a cultural review that found Cricket Australia to be "arrogant" and "controlling."

A number of figures in the sport in Australia have since spoken of changing that reputation, but Clarke does not believe this is the right way to go. He told Macquarie Sports Radio: "Australian cricket, I think, needs to stop worrying about being liked and start worrying about being respected. We need to play tough Australian cricket because, whether we like it or not, that's in our blood. If you try to walk away from it, we might be the most liked team in the world, [but] we're not going to win s***. We won't win a game."

Michael Clarke insists "we need to play tough Australian cricket." Photo: Getty Images


Skipper Paine insists this is not the case, telling ESPNcricinfo: "No one has spoken about being liked, certainly not by the opposition. We've spoken about wanting to get the Australian public's trust and make sure that clearly you want the Australian public and cricket fans to like or love the Australian Test team. Certainly there's that aspect, but from an opposition perspective we're not concerned about being liked one bit."

'Missing the point'

Simon Katich also offered a response to Clarke's comments, suggesting his former team-mate was "missing the point."


"Once again we find someone missing the point," Katich told SEN. "What's been forgotten in this is we blatantly cheated and there's a reason we're at this point now. We were caught for blatantly cheating and we have to rectify that as quickly as possible and earn back the respect not just of the cricketing public in Australia but worldwide and our behaviour's a big part of that."


Yet Clarke continued to stand by his beliefs, with broadcaster Gerard Whateley, who shared similar sentiments with Katich in conversation, becoming the target of a riposte on Twitter. In a lengthy message to Whateley and SEN, Clarke wrote: "Under my leadership of the Test team, Australia were ranked No. 5 in the world and, 18 months later, we were No. 1, yet you made no criticism of me or our style of play then. In the process of getting to No. 1, I played to win but played by the rules of the game and to a similar level of aggression as the other international teams I played against."

Of his earlier comments, he added: "I have received numerous messages of support for my opinion from respected journalists and seniors within the Australian cricket team."

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