Hayden barb: On record

Claims and counter-claims reignited cricketing hostilities ahead of Sunday's first final between India and Australia in the CB one-day series in Sydney.

updated: February 28, 2008 12:26 IST
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Claims, counter-claims, charges and warnings have dominated the last two days, reigniting cricketing hostilities ahead of Sunday's first final in the tri one-day series in Sydney. The drama began with Australian batsman Mathew Hayden describing Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh as an "obnoxious little weed" in an interview on Brisbane Radio.

Following are some of the interesting quotes from the episode:

"Matthew Hayden was charged for simply saying what most Australians feel about Harbhajan Singh. What is wrong with calling Harby an obnoxious little weed? It's not racist, it's not all that rude and it's certainly not bad for the game." - The Daily Telegraph

"While it was meant to be a light-hearted radio interview, Hayden's lack of diplomacy has poured petrol on a bushfire and has given the Indians something substantial to complain about." - The Australian

"It's no surprise Harbhajan Singh is right in the middle of the latest storm. He is a despised character in the Australian dressing room, but it doesn't bother the fiery spinner. He thrives in this combustible atmosphere. While it's not always clear whose side of the story to believe, Harbhajan is always entertaining listening." - Melbourne's Herald Sun

"It's also no surprise to find Matthew Hayden in the mix as well. Hayden is a notorious sledger, and has never backed away from airing his views on the field." - Melbourne's Herald Sun

"What India has shown this summer is that it is not afraid to expose any so-called on-field secrets. Many touring teams have come and left with their tails between their legs. India certainly hasn't, and, in some ways, Australia is not used to this. That's why the world champions sometimes react in anger when things don't go their way. The fuse has been lit. Bring on Sunday." - Melbourne's Herald Sun

"I don't want it to be a slanging match, but you only need to speak to international cricketers and international teams to know in what opinion they hold Hayden." - Harbhajan Singh told Sydney's The Daily Telegraph.

"I stand by my innocence, I didn't want to denigrate any player. Right now my focus is on the tri-series finals, which we badly want to win." - Mathew Hayden said during the hearing.

"Well, they (comments on Harbhajan) were a bit rude. The young man is a guest in the country and must be treated with hospitality." - Renowned columnist Peter Roebuck

"I've not ever cared to think what other teams think of Matthew Hayden. He's one of the most well-respected people in our team, so that's all that interests me." - Retiring Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist