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MacGill denies booze forced hand

Discussion in 'Cricket Forum' started by clontaago, Jun 2, 2008.

  1. clontaago

    clontaago Well-Known Member

    +170 /1
    STUART MacGill has retired after turning up late for a Test match, but will deny being under the influence of alcohol at the time he was late.

    MacGill announced his retirement only a day after turning up late to the ground during the second Test against West Indies in Antigua.

    But he is set to strongly deny rumours his Test retirement was prompted because he was under the influence of alcohol when he arrived.

    Legspinner MacGill will admit he slept in and missed the team bus, arriving after play started when Australia was batting on the second morning of the Test.

    There were rumours he had a night on the drink and may have been affected by alcohol.

    But he and coach Tim Nielsen will refute the claims the New South Wales veteran was intoxicated and team management is standing by MacGill.

    Former West Indian champion Viv Richards walked into the ground with MacGill and reported the legspinner was "sheepish" but did not appear under the influence of alcohol.

    "I walked in with him and I talked to him, he looked OK to me," Richards said.

    "He was a bit sheepish and he knew he would be in trouble with the team. He knew he would get a slap on the wrist. But otherwise he looked OK."

    MacGill is expected to claim he simply slept in and will insist he was not under the influence of alcohol.

    It is understood he was out the night before, drinking with friends, however it is unclear what time he returned to his hotel room.

    During his career, MacGill was never far from trouble and had a disciplinary history as long as his arm from abusing umpires, opposition batsmen and even former Australian coach John Buchanan.

    But the 37-year-old insists there was nothing untoward in his retirement, saying he retired simply because he had lost the magic to trouble the world's best batsman.

    It also appears he was rapidly losing the confidence of his Test teammates and there seems little doubt Test skipper Ricky Ponting and the leadership group were becoming increasing worried by his erratic bowling.

    Some of MacGill's deliveries in this series have been so bad they would have been hit for six by park batsmen and his dodgy hand and knee have continued caused him problems.

    MacGill's retirement will lead to increasing calls for retired great Shane Warne to return to Test action, however New South Wales left-arm spinner Beau Casson will be the immediate replacement for the third Test.

    MacGill, who considered retiring six months ago when he took his 200th Test wicket against Sri Lanka at the Gabba, admitted was letting himself with his wayward bowling.

    He was never the same after returning from surgery on his wonky bowling hand.

    "I have worked way too hard for too long to sabotage my achievements by playing Test cricket for the wrong reasons," MacGill said.

    "There is no way I will ever walk on to a cricket field unless I can guarantee that I can dismiss top order batsmen consistently.

    "The prospect of letting myself and the team down is simply not an option. When I was injured at the start of last summer I spent a great deal of time thinking about what cricket meant to me.

    "Over the past six months I have experienced enough highs and lows to fill a lifetime.

    "My 200th Test wicket couldn't have been scripted any better. I will never forget the happiness I felt when my family welcomed me at the hotel that night, yet the very next week I was filled with the pain and disappointment of injury.

    "I considered retirement at the time."

    MacGill always lived in the shadow of Warne and now his retirement has sparked more calls for Warne to return. MacGill was never able to capitalise on Warne's retirement because by then he was well past his best and riddled with injury.

    In the post-Warne era, there was clear evidence that MacGill was finished when he took the collective Test figures of 9-469 at 52.11.

    However, as calls for Warne's return intensified, MacGill insisted Casson was the man for the job.

    "Some people may worry about the future of spin bowling in this country, but I am not one of them," MacGill said.

    "I am very excited for Beau Casson, another Western Australian boy who made a very good move east
  2. SilentBob

    SilentBob Well-Known Member

    +4 /0
    I'm glad he's going, he has looked horrible, I've got confidence in Casson but not so sure they will play him with Clarke, Symonds and Katich able to bowl spin, Noffke may get a run.
  3. The Gronk

    The Gronk Well-Known Member

    +37 /0
    A shame MacGill couldnt get himself fully fit again.  He was a great spinner  and had a higher strike rate than Warne did, and is the 12th highest Australian wicket taker of all time, which is amazing as he was an understudy his whole career. 

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