Michael Clarke, James Hird most mentioned in the media in 2014

Michael Clarke was everywhere in 2014, capturing the attention of Australian journalists more often than anyone else in sport.
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Australia’s cricket captain racked up more than 140,000 mentions in radio, television and newspaper items, according to media monitoring business iSentia.

After the national team started the year on a high, with a Test win against South Africa and beating England in the one-day series, injuries and the death of friend and teammate Phillip Hughes kept Clarke in the news.

Meanwhile James Hird made headlines for all the wrong reasons, making him the second most covered sports personality of the year.

The Essendon coach spent the year fighting ASADA over allegations the club gave its players illegal supplements to enhance their performance.

Hird would probably prefer the media concentrated on his work inside the coaching box in 2015, but with legal proceedings set to drag on into the new year that seems unlikely.

Hughes was the third most covered sportsperson of the year, while footballer and Australian of the Year Adam Goodes came in at number six.

Notable was the lack of women in the list of the top 10 most talked about sports identities, which also included formula one driver Daniel Ricciardo and tennis players Nick Kyrgios, Lleyton Hewitt and Bernard Tomic.

Tennis champion Samantha Stosur came in at number 11, an iSentia spokesman said, and more women tended to appear in Olympic years.

He said athletes in sports that were played year round, like tennis, were more likely to rank in the top 10.

But the exposure was not always welcome – bad behaviour off the field sometimes drew more attention that a strong performance on it.

“The exception is the Australian cricket captain, who is almost always number one,” he said.

10 Most Covered Australian Sport Personalities in 2014

Michael Clarke

James Hird

Phillip Hughes

Daniel Ricciardo

Nick Kyrgios

Lleyton Hewitt

Adam Goodes

Bernard Tomic

Ange Postecoglou

Adam Scott

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