Unperturbed by Sena threats, Hayden looking forward to IPL

Former Australian batsman Matthew Hayden said he was looking forward to IPL 3 amid threats from Shiv Sena.

updated: January 17, 2010 17:54 IST
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Speaking exclusively to NDTV, former Australian batsman Matthew Hayden said he was looking forward to IPL 3 amid threats from Shiv Sena. He also said the racial attacks in his home country have caused a lot of hurt.

Here are the excerpts of the interview:

NDTV: Threats by certain groups within India that they will not allow Australian cricketers to play in the IPL. Are you apprehensive?

HAYDEN: Worth recognizing that there has been a tremendous amount of hurt that has been caused by this racial incident here in Australia and for that end I want to send out my sincerest condolences to the families.

I think one of the things I love about India is just how family orientated it is and how important brothers of the country are embraced in its own country. In particular right here, if I can speak on the behalf of Australia and Australian we pride ourselves in welcoming all those people to our sea born and to be safe and to ensure safety through good security, good police force and tremendous federal bureau which control crime in this country.

I think its very very important to realise that as an Australian cricketer I'm proud to say that I have loved touring India, its become my second home, Chennai is my passion and my love and I am extremely committed to the cause of growing the franchise as a whole but I also have really enjoyed such great freedom and such an incredible brotherhood in a country which is now my second home.

NDTV: So you're ready for IPL 3?

HAYDEN: I am ready for IPL 3. Looking forward to it. And really more than anything looking forward to 2010 being a peaceful occasion.

NDTV: India-Australia share great cricketing relationships. In fact, cricketers literally worshipped in both countries. Do you think cricketers can play an important role in redefining the relationship between both countries and given what's happened in the recent past - lot of statements being made by both sides which has really aggravated the situation. Do you think cricketers can play an important part in sending across a message?

HAYDEN: I think cricket is a game which promotes great spirit and I think it's very important to understand that our two great nations are competitive on the field and in business. I think it's really amazing to get a chance to see, promote and enjoy Indian culture within Australia. It's just a part of our lives as well. When you actually look at Australia, what is Australia and what are Australians? I think we're the most multi-cultural and most diverse nation on the planet and we love the multi-cultural element and if cricket could bring people together, that would certainly be a wish of mine.

NDTV: Would you wait for clearance from the Australian Cricket Board before you too take part in the IPL?

HAYDEN: I think that there's always a process which is very clearly defined, no matter what tour or any kind of national touring party, even if you're just a tourist, you have to consult Cricket Australia and also the ACA which is playing an important role in security, to understand that there are risk associated with going abroad, just like everyone. But I feel very comfortable in that process. I know its been extremely useful in the past in getting a good understanding of the level of security because I'm also a family man and I love the fact that I'm a dad and I also love the fact that I'm an Australian.

NDTV: You have a huge fan following back in India, what message do you have for the people of India?

HAYDEN: I hope everyone turns out for a great IPL 3 season. It was unfortunate last year that it was marred and it had to be taken away offshore to South Africa. I think franchise cricket is truly a global part of the game and I am really looking forward to and excited that I'm coming to my second home, Chennai in March.