I am sorry to see that you have again been involved in an on field fracas that has led to you being fined. This year we have seen you involved in these things in a number of fixtures, continuing a form line of conduct that has been a constant during your career.
I confess to you David that I am not a fan of yours. I concede openly that you are one of the most devastating stroke players in the game and that you are fast become one of the icons of the game in this country. Channel 9 has anointed you as one of the faces of the game and not a day goes by during the season where you are not in the press in some way.
I do not write to you to express my own thoughts about your sledging and aggressive conduct. I have written before that I have become less engaged with the game (that I have loved for over 30 years) in part because of the way Australia plays the game and your conduct is no small part of that. Rehashing that is not my purpose.
I write to you simply to ask you to stop! Please stop! I hear all the time that there are thousands upon thousands of young cricketers who just want to be like you. They want to bat like you. They want to field like you. They follow your every move. When they see you on the TV they absorb everything you do, both the good and the bad. That means they are absorbing both the slashing cover drive that bounces off the pickets and you standing face to face in the middle of the pitch yelling at an opponent.
Kids are great mimics: I can remember trying to replicate the actions of bowlers that I enjoyed watching. I am sure that there are young batters trying to blast a ball through backward point just like you do. I am scared that there are young players who think it is OK to stand toe to toe with an opponent in the middle of the pitch.
My nephew is just starting to get into cricket and went to his first game a couple of weekends ago. He still thinks that his uncle, who bowled slow medium outswingers that did not swing and whose only shot was a cover drive, is his favourite cricketer. That will not last long: soon I fear that you will be his favourite cricketer and he will start to mimic you, both the good and the bad.
So again: I ask you to stop! Not for lifelong fans like me but for the next generations of young fans who don’t know or don’t understand that what you are doing is not the way the game of cricket should be played.
A concerned uncle and cricket fan