| Glenn McGrath
Sydney: Glenn McGrath has expressed remorse over his much-publicised confrontation with West Indian batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan and vows it won’t happen again.
The premier Australian fast bowler was widely condemned for his mid-pitch rant at Sarwan during the fourth Test in Antigua, won by the West Indies on Tuesday by three wickets.
McGrath said he had overstepped the mark with his foul-mouthed tirade at Sarwan as the West Indies were charging toward their record victory.
The images of McGrath finger-pointing and screaming at Sarwan over something he apparently said prompted Australian Cricket Board chief executive James Sutherland to tell captain Steve Waugh to rein in his players’ emotions.
“I’ve felt pretty terrible so I don’t want to feel that way again,” McGrath told Australian Associated Press in the West Indies Thursday.
“It’s not something that just happens and then that’s finished. It’s something that I do go on thinking about. I have worried about it quite a bit over the last few days.
“It has affected me. I feel like I am more quiet than I normally am. I would like to have a time machine and change the things I haven’t been happy with.
“I just have to keep working at it. The way to do that is to not put myself in that situation. If you don’t work on something you might as well give the game away.”
McGrath has been involved in several on-field incidents during his international career, but he admits to being taken aback by the fall-out of the Sarwan incident. He said he was surprised by the amount of publicity the clash generated in Australia.
McGrath, 33, said he was not making excuses for his behaviour after losing his temper with Sarwan.
AAP reported that McGrath had made a lewd taunt to which Sarwan replied with a routine sledge suggesting McGrath ask his wife the answer.
McGrath’s furious response may have been down to heightened sensitivity because his wife, Jane, recently began treatment for cancer.
“He was batting very well to say the least. I could sit here and make plenty of excuses but it still doesn’t justify why it happened,” McGrath said. “I guess I just got a bit frustrated.
“Playing for my country still means a lot to me, I play with a lot of passion, sometimes I try not to cross the line too often but occasionally, the other day I got quite frustrated.
“It’s something that I have worked on quite a bit, especially since becoming a father. I am a little bit disappointed in myself that I did do it.”
McGrath and Sarwan have apologised to each other and both teams were on good terms when they shared the same flight to Jamaica from Antigua Wednesday to prepare for Saturday’s one-day series opener.
McGrath admitted his outburst had not done Australia any good but he did not believe the world champions could be labelled sore losers.
WI media hails win
The record-breaking victory by West Indies in the fourth Test against Australia was hailed as a miracle and “a tremendous shot in the arm for the West Indies team” by newspapers in the region on Wednesday.
“3-mendous” read the headline in the Barbados Daily Nation, which also ran a photograph of West Indies players kissing the pitch at the Antigua Recreation Ground after the home side achieved the 418 needed for victory.
“Miracles do happen in Test cricket,” the newspaper continued. “And lower-order batsmen Omari Banks and Vasbert Drakes had the magic touch at the Antigua Recreation Ground as the West Indies created history.”
Meanwhile the Jamaica Observer, which also quoted former West Indian players, described the victory as “fantastic, brilliant and amazing”.