Michael Hussey, while admitting that he felt a bit of responsibility for the dressing-room fight between Michael Clarke and Simon Katich, shared the first-hand account of what had between the two former Australia batsmen in 2009. (More Cricket News)
After Australia had beaten South Africa in a Test match at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), Katich grabbed Clarke by the throat. And many believed that the fight started from Clarke's desire for the team song to be sung so he could leave early to attend another function.
The altercation remained one of the ugliest episodes in the history of Australian cricket, and both Clarke and Katich had offered their versions to the public.
Now Hussey, who felt "a bit responsible for the whole thing and how it ended" narrated what he witnessed.
"I hadn't noticed any friction between the two in the past," Hussey told foxsports.com.au, "Things escalated that evening.
"That was probably partly my fault. I was the leader of the team song, I didn't realise that Pup [Clarke] was trying to get the team song done to get away."
Hussey also admitted that he had never seen anything like that and everybody was taken aback.
"It was complete shock... I had never seen anything like that before in an Australian dressing room," Hussey added.
For years, it remained a closely guarded secret. But Katich, speaking in an interview on SEN radio's This is Your Sporting Life, had claimed that Clarke crossed the line.
"There's been a fair bit said about it, I won't deny that it happened," Katich said.
"It was partly to do with the singing of the team song and the pressure that he was putting on Michael Hussey to really get on with it and get on with the night. That probably led to our altercation.
"But a big part of it from my point of view was what he said to me and the personal nature of what he said.
"I can't repeat that on the show unfortunately because I’m sure there are some ladies out there listening," Katich had said.
For his part, Clarke in his autobiography wrote:
"Huss and Kato seem to be enjoying the delay more and more, particularly at my expense.
"I think I hear them say something like 'F--- it, let's make him wait a bit longer'.
"And then I lose it.
"'Hang on, you're doing this out of spite, you f---ing dogs. Have the balls to say it to my face.'
"Kato fires up. 'What did you say?'
"'I said have the balls to say it to my face, you weak c---s.'
"Kato marches across the room and grabs me by the shirt collar. For a few seconds, we glare at each other and mutter obscenities. If he ever wanted to hit me, now is his chance, with me having a beer in each hand and my arms around my teammates’ shoulders. But he walks away. I stay in the circle."
Two years later, Katich lost his Australia contract, and many speculated that the exclusion was due to his fight with Clarke.
But the former captain, in a recent Big Sports Breakafast interview, said that he had nothing to do with Katich's exclusion.
"You recently made comments about Usman Khawaja and his sacking, saying that you were hoping it wasn't made personal by selectors — isn't that exactly what you did with Simon Katich affair?," the caller asked.
In response, Clarke said: "Incorrect. Let me tell you the truth because you're going off what you've heard or what you've been reading in the paper.
"Simon and I did have an incident in the change room. But from my perspective, because I can’t talk for Simon, it was done and dealt with. We had a conversation the next day, it was dealt with."
"What people don’t understand is ... because I became captain of Australia, I have no say in who gets a contract. Simon Katich was not dropped from a team when I was captain of Australia or when I was a selector."
He further added: "The three they had to choose from was Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey and Simon Katich."
"They were going to give contracts to two of those three players and they went with Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey ahead of Simon Katich. So his contract selection had absolutely nothing to do with me," Clarke added.
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