Poor old Glenn Maxwell. All he did was speak the truth. But in sport, there are times you don't do that. Glenn Maxwell violated one of the golden rules of the locker room. And now he's copping it.
Maxwell, 28, is one of the stars of the Australian T20 and One Day teams. He will likely play for Australia against the Kiwis in the first One Dayer this Sunday. But the Victorian also harbours ambitions of a recall to the Test team, and at a press conference on Thursday, he made that clear in a way that got up everybody's nose.
Maxwell's mistake was to criticise his state captain, Matthew Wade. Wade is a wicket-keeper batsman, and as we all know, keepers usually bat lower down the order than specialist batsmen. But Wade elevated himself above Maxwell in the Victorian order before the third Test against South Africa.
Wade clearly wanted to impress national selectors ahead of the Adelaide Test, and indeed went on to win a spot. But Maxwell had also wanted to press his selection claims, which is why on Thursday he called the move "painful".
"I think the wicket keeper should be batting at seven unless you're trying to squeeze an extra bowler into your line-up," Maxwell said.
The guy had a point, but of course, it was a point he shouldn't have made, because bagging your state captain in public is not generally the best public relations move.
Naturally, all hell broke loose. A host of pundits and ex-players lined up to call Maxwell selfish and the rest of it (even though Maxwell had a pretty good case that his captain was the one being selfish). The richest slur came from Darren Berry, who you won't be shocked to learn is a former Victorian skipper and wicket keeper.
"What we might be seeing playing out here might be the pimple getting squeezed to the top," Berry told Melbourne radio station SEN on Friday," alluding to what is probably an ongoing feud between Wade and Maxwell.
"What I'm reading, what I'm hearing, is that pimple that was probably an under-surface pimple now has got a lot of pus in it and it's getting squeezed."
Excuse us a minute while we say "eeewwwww".
"It's a team sport and he's batting at six, Cameron White's batting behind him at seven. Cameron White didn't come out and criticise Matthew Wade.
"Glenn, you've missed the mark there, I'm sorry... that's 'me me me' stuff, isn't it?"
If you can get past the pus analogy, these are all good points.
Maxwell had a good point himself, which is that Victoria have been winning so comfortably this season, there's not much opportunity for batsmen lower down the order to play a meaningful hand. He also made the right sort of noises when he said:
"I'm just going to be trying to make as many runs and take as many wickets and show the different improvements I've made in batting and bowling."
But you know what they say about first impressions. Maxwell's the guy everybody is hating this Friday. It should be interesting watching him on Sunday.Suggest a correction