THE CASE FOR: ALBURY made a statement on the eve of the 2011 Ovens and Murray grand final when it dumped Andrew Robinson for drinking after a golf day.
Whether he had one beer or a dozen is irrelevant. He broke team rules and paid a huge price by missing out on the Tigers’ third straight flag win against Yarrawonga.
It was a hard-line stance by coach Paul Spargo but that’s exactly what made Albury so successful under his years of leadership.
The Tigers would walk over hot coals for Spargo and the rewards are in the trophy cabinet at the Albury Sportsground.
That’s why the decision to stand down Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Johnson and Usman Khawaja from the third Test in India is the right one.
THE CASE AGAINST: Chris Mitchell says it's 'ridiculous'
In fact, it was the only decision that could be made in the circumstances.
It’s simplistic to say the punishment is too harsh for the crime involved.
The lack of respect shown by the quartet for coach Mickey Arthur and captain Michael Clarke wouldn’t wash in the Ovens and Murray, let alone an international cricket team.
Spargo would regularly give his players sheets of homework and failure to complete it would result in strict punishment, albeit usually physical in the form of plenty of extra running.
Rightly, Arthur and Clarke decided a couple of extra laps of the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium wouldn’t cut it this time.
The players have only themselves to blame.
We’re talking about full-time professional athletes given five days to complete a simple task.
They’re not on holidays. They’re 2-0 down in a massive series and should be doing anything the coach and captain ask of them to rectify that — no matter how trivial the task might seem.