O Captain! My Captain!

Abbott Clarke

Jeez you mob have got short memories.  Where were you when I was facing up to the short pitched stuff on the veldt.  I wore those bruises as a badge of courage while you were all whimpering back in the change rooms.

I know I’ve been a bit hamstrung lately, and some of that was my own stubborn pride in coming back too soon when I should have taken a longer rest after last year’s bruising.  The trouble with being hamstrung is that you’ve got to watch your back.

I’m getting a lot of pins and needles and sharp pain there, but I’m sure it will pass in time for the big contests coming up.

My spin has been a bit off, and I know a lot of you would prefer a leggie leading the team.  That’s all very well on the foreign pitches where you can keep a low profile and everything turns out well for you.  But I reckon that’s a doubtful quality on our bouncier tracks.

The other bloke is all fancy footwork and flashy strokes, but can you trust him when the going gets tough?  Don’t forget he’s been a turner in his time too.  Wanted shirt-lifters allowed into the side.  Would you want to share a dressing room with them?  And he had some new-fangled ideas for a trading scheme a few years back that would have seen us all overtaxed and playing for the Delhi Daredevils by now.  Is that what you want?

I’ll readily concede that I made a dodgy captains pick recently, and I never should have put a pom in charge of the leadership group.  But he’s done a lot of touring down under over the years, so he knows our conditions.  And his missus is a good sort.  Bulldog breed and spirit of Gallipoli in the centenary year and all that.  I thought it would be good for morale in Team Australia.

What we lost that one too, when we let a pom run the show?  Well you learn something every day.  History was never my strongest subject.

I know I should have spoken to the Chairman of Selectors before I announced it, but Peta has had a lot on her plate lately.

I’ve listened; I’ve consulted; I’ve learned.  I won’t let you down again.  Just give me another innings and I know that I can rise from the Ashes later this year.

Anyway the country can only take so much change at the one time, and Michael Clarke is clearly stuffed.

Now it’s on to the World Cup, and I don’t reckon Putin or Xi Jinping can pick my new zooter.


O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;

The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;

The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting

While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:

But O heart! heart! heart!

O the bleeding drops of red,

Where on the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

       (Walt Whitman)


  1. Andrew Starkie says

    Peter, the parallels bw our two most important leaders are clear. The scrutiny they’re under is way over the top. They both need to take responsibility to an extent – Clarke should not have played in Adelaide and Tony is his own worse enemy – but I reckon the 24/7 media cycle has plenty to answer for, even though the likes of Jon faine claim their innocent and only reporting what’s going on. The circling of Abbot is way over the top. One term govts, Pms being tossed mid-term is a scary precedent. Are we turning into Italy?

  2. Dave Brown says

    So who has the better wrong-un, Malcolm, Julie or Steve

  3. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    PB, Love ‘Uncle Walt’.
    At least Clarke doesn’t repeat himself and pause for disaffect like TA. My 84 year old mum called him ‘Skatony’ the other day, which is a noun and a verb in Greek. She also said that he was the worst PM she’d seen since she got here in 1953. Mum votes Liberal and had a grade 3 education, yet she reckons there’s something ‘fake’ about Tony. If you can’t fool the village people, you’re in trouble.

  4. Yvette Wroby says

    Lovely work again Peter, it took me several reads to work out which Captain we wee talking about, cos for a while there it could have been either. I think their rotisarried either way, if they depose, they’re hypocritical, if he stays, they’ll lose the next election. Karmas a B…..


  5. matt watson says

    Tony’s just out of form.
    Way out of form.
    Like he’s never had any form.
    Like a cricket or football captain, you can’t please all the people all the time.
    Results are what counts.
    Journalists love the hunt.
    We also like writing positive stories.
    Few people who are in form have bad stories written about them.

  6. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Very entertaining PB yes it took me a couple of reads to pick up all the hidden meanings . Clarke has broken down in the last 3 games he has played but he is moving like a rolls royce compared to our supposed pm

  7. Entertaining read PB.

    By my reckoning Big Ears is Mark Taylor walking out to bat at Edgebaston, sans bat.

    Only a rain delay can save him.

  8. Abbot captains no team I’m a part of.

    Under his gov, CSIRO funding has been cut by $100 mill, while school chaplaincy has received an extra $250 mill.

    THAT IS ABSOLUTELY SCANDALOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I will gut laugh in a way that taps into a new darker seam of schadenfreude when he falls on his sword.

  9. Captain given not out.
    But the DRS will come into play next series.

  10. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Douglas Jardine would be more popular as our PM.
    That ‘spill’ might precipitate a landslide later in the year.

Leave a Comment