New Delhi: Former cricketers such as Dean Jones and Michael Vaughan reacted sharply to the exclusion of four Australian cricketers, which includes vice-captain Shane Watson, from the side for the third Test against India starting Thursday.
Watson along with pacers James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and batsman Usman Khawaja were dropped from the squad for "breaching protocol", according to the team management.
Jones treaded a cautious path while reacting to the news but the likes of Damien Fleming and Vaughan didn't stop short at taking a dig at the team management's decision.
"On a positive note Ed Cowan's presentation has just been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize!" was Fleming's sarcastic comment, on his twitter page, @bowlologist.
Jones however didn't want to blame coach Mickey Arthur and skipper Michael Clarke for the current crisis.
"Before killing off Micky and Pup or the 4 Players alleged transgression, there are always 2 sides to every story. It will all come out," Jones tweeted.
"Not knowing the full facts. I wonder if Mickey Arthur rang James Sutherland CEO of CA for advice on this matter. Before sentencing.....If I was in Micky's shoes... I would have got advice from the CEO J Sutherland first. Then reacted."
But Jones also raised a question as to why the four Australian players didn't make the presentations.
"The major question that should be asked. Why didn't the players give the presentations? were they scared of saying their opinion? Or Lazy?"
Former England captain Vaughan made fun of the decision.
"What is going on with Aussie Cricket?? Didn't realise you had to do a Essay to get a selection these days..!!!!! Bowl better,Bat better, Catch better,communicate better... Just bloody play better.... I am now available for Selection of Australia..!!!!!," Vaughan tweeted, making a mockery of the Aussie team management's decision.
As if to add insult to the injury, Vaughan further tweeted, "What I am confused by is that the coach of Australia asked the players for only 3 things to improve the team??"
Former Australia batsman Damien Martyn was one of the first ones to inform via twitter that Watson has left the tour, but Jones believed, may be, it has got to do with the fact that the all-rounder's wife is expecting.
"Implications from these actions are serious.. I feel it is deeper than it appears. Aust are in trouble!" wrote a worried Jones.
Former Australian ODI specialist and member of two World Cup winning teams, Tom Moody wasn't exactly amused at the turn of events.
"From my experience report writing is not a player's strength, no surprise to hear some failing, need to focus more on field short comings?," was Moody's blunt assessment.
Moody was of the opinion that things were indeed turning ugly and called the decision a "reckless one".
"This thing is turning ugly, Watson now heading home, hard/reckless decisions like this can set teams back, surely we need our guys playing?"
Former captain Allan Border also ridiculed the team management's decision to axe the four players for the third Test in Mohali over a protocol breach.
"I'm surprised that's the penalty for something so mundane. It seems like it was on a schoolboy tour or something. It's an over the top reaction," Border said.
Former Australia batsman Mark Waugh added: "I'm stunned. I've never heard of this sort of thing before at top level in any sport. When you are losing there are niggling things there but they're grown men, it's not school boy stuff. It's not under-6s, this is Test cricket…there would have been a better way."
Darren Lehmann too agreed with Waugh and said Australia badly need the axed quartet of Watson, Pattinson, Johnson and Khawaja in the next match.
"Adults we are, not schoolboys! Please let's act properly and make good decisions in India! Need these boys playing," Lehmann said.
Damien Martyn lashed out at coach Mickey Arthur for the entire fiasco.
"To many wrong people are picked for jobs who give a fancy presentation!!," Martyn tweeted.
Former wicket-keeper Ian Healy said the episode will have adverse effect on Australia's preparation for the Ashes scheduled for later this year.
"Disappointed in the news of the players being sent home. Lead up to the Ashes is struggling. Need to get back on top #ausvind #breakingpoin," Healy wrote in his twitter page.
Story first published on: Monday, 11 March 2013 18:50 IST