by LUCY CHESTERTON
Wow. Did you SEE Michael Clarke’s record-breaking batting run on the cricket pitch this week?
The fourth double century he scored for 2012, the one that ushered him into the history books? It was a huge feat, something he certainly couldn’t have managed if he was still dating Lara Bingle.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Michael Clarke’s winning streak has less to do with his talent and everything to do with his decision to kick Lara to the kerb and put a ring on new wife Kyly Boldy instead. A wife who would make the relationship “all about him”.
Sports journalist Phil “Buzz” Rothfield writes:
MICHAEL Clarke is the best advertisement for marriage and a settled home life. …
His batting average since marrying stunning model Kyly Boldy in May is an equally stunning 263.5
It’s a big improvement on the old soap opera days of the Lara Bingle relationship when he more often appeared in gossip than sporting columns.
[When the relationship with Lara ended] he returned to Wellington and smashed 168 against the Kiwis. It was the first sign that life after Lara would mean a vast improvement in his batting average.
From this, I’m gathering, sports-mad Australia should be thanking their lucky stars Michael saw the light and moved on from that harpy Lara before it was too late.
Which is insulting enough. But then, this. Rothfield quotes a source’s less-than-admirable take on the two relationships:
“With Lara, it was all about her. With Kyly it’s all about him.”
And there’s where my eyebrows went from half-mast to hairline. Stable partnerships can help people achieve great things… but in my world, the bond should help both parties succeed in their chosen field, whether it’s a literal field or not. Rather than a relationship be “all about” one of the members.
And I’m not the only one whose eyebrows are still sky-high after reading this interpretation of Michael’s efforts.
Lara herself has weighed in, Tweeting:
TV personality Charlotte Dawson added her voice to the growing chorus of protest over the source’s claim and Rothfield’s “research”. She Tweeted:
Charlotte knows a thing or two about making a relationship with a sportsman “all about” his ambitions. In her recent autobiography, Air Kiss and Tell, she writes about coming second to her then-husband, swimmer Scott Miller. In the lead up to the Sydney Olympics, she discovered she was pregnant with his child. She writes:
I could sense some hesitation in Scott [when he discovered I was pregnant]. My due date would clash with the 2000 Olympic Games and this was very concerning. Everything Scott had done was leading up to this moment and nothing could stand in his way, so it was decided that we would terminate the child and try again later. Who needed a developing foetus when a gold medal was on offer, eh?
Of course, it’s Kyly’s choice to support her husband however she wishes, and we only have the word of a “source” that it’s all about Clarkey, anyway.
But my problem with the article is that, in support of its case, it presents two ideas that are in my mind, complete opposites.
After quoting the source’s “It’s all about him,” Rothfield concludes, “Happy wife, happy life.”
Sorry, but the idea that in a marriage “some are more equal than others” doesn’t win any points with me.
Pup’s previously bad batting stats are no more Lara’s fault than Katie Holmes is to blame for Tom Cruise’s shocking choice of movies (Rock of Ages, anyone?) And when his career was full of Top Guns and Ricky Business, no one went around handing awards to Nicole Kidman.
So, I find the concept that Lara somehow stole success from Clarkey absurd. It unfairly implies she didn’t want the best for him when they were together, engaged and clearly in love.
It blindly suggests Clarkey had little or no will of his own then, and was too easily led astray when it came to the whims of his other half. And finally it assumes that a man can only succeed when the relationship is “all about him” and his partner is kept firmly on the sidelines instead of pursuing her own passions.
It is unfair to Clarkey and to Kyly (who clearly has talents of her own), and it’s unfair to Lara. As the story of the very brave and very beautiful Charlotte tells us, those kinds of one-sided relationship never ends well.
Don’t agree? Well, you can always blame my partner for my failings.
Some more opinions from Twitter on the matter:
Do you think the implication that Clarke is a better player without Lara Bingle is insulting? Do we need a calming influence in our partner or stability in our personal lives to succeed in our careers?