SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has been hit with a team fine for criticising Matt Wade over his decisions as captain of the Victoria state side, skipper Steve Smith said on Saturday.
Maxwell was recalled to the squad for Sunday’s one-day international against New Zealand and took the opportunity to express how “painful” it had been for him to bat behind wicketkeeper Wade for Victoria.
Australia coach Darren Lehmann said on Friday he would speak to power-hitting Maxwell to try to resolve the issue and on Saturday Smith said the players had decided to take action.
“Everyone was disappointed in his comments, I’ve expressed that with him myself and spoke to the team,” Smith told reporters.
”One of our values is respect and having respect for your team mates, opposition, fans and media.
“I thought what he said was very disrespectful to a team mate and his Victorian captain. The leadership group got together and we decided to fine Glenn. We thought that was a sufficient punishment.”
Maxwell will still be considered for Sunday’s series opener at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“He’s available for selection and obviously the selectors will weigh up what they think is the best team for tomorrow,” Smith added.
With Maxwell having apparently burnt his bridges in Victoria, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Saturday that New South Wales would be prepared to offer him a home from next year.
Although undoubtedly a hugely talented batsman, Maxwell has struggled for runs and failed to nail down a spot in the Australia team over the last year, missing the series against Sri Lanka and South Africa.
Australia are ranked number one in the world in the 50-over format but, after being swept 5-0 in South Africa, have plenty to prove in the series against New Zealand, which also includes matches in Canberra and Melbourne.
The Black Caps also hold the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy after beating the world champions 2-1 in a series in New Zealand in February.
“We’ve generally played some pretty good cricket here in Australia,” Smith said.
“They are a quality team so we’re going to have to be at our best to beat them in this series.”
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford