Hayden unrepentant but cops wrist slap…

In a stunning slap on the faces of Cricket Australia officials, Matthew Hayden, who called India’s Harbhajan Singh a “little obnoxious weed” in a radio interview, has maintained his innocence!

Australian opener, Matthew Hayden, was in hot waters after the spray he gave Harbhajan Singh. In the same radio interview the 37-year-old veteran of the game even invited an Indian player — almost half his age! — to the boxing ring for a fight.

The BCCI left the matter in the hands of Cricket Australia. Cricket Australia had to be seen to be doing something. So they hauled Matthew Hayden in front of a “code of conduct” hearing in Melbourne, after which commissioner, Ron Beazley, let Hayden off with a reprimand! One can only assume that Hayden was let off with a mere slap on the wrist because he pleaded guilty to the “code of conduct” charge!

But immediately after the hearing, Hayden waltzed out and said, “I maintain my innocence; my intentions were never to denigrate cricket or anyone. But in the spirit of cricket I respect and accept the decision”

If I was surprised by CA’s mild wrist-tap, I am simply stunned by Hayden’s response!

So, Hayden’s intentions were never to denigrate cricket or anyone! So, what were his intentions then? If it was an unintended slip or an error in judgment, one would have thought that an apology was in order! But no! He has come out and maintained his innocence!

Rule 9 of the Cricket Australia Code of Behaviour (see page-10), prohibits “Detrimental Public Comment”. The rule guidelines clearly prohibit public denigration of other players against whom they have played or are likely to play!

Does this mean that Australian players can run amok calling other-country players f***wits or dimwits or d**k-heads or mother-f*****s or “little obnoxious weeds” in radio interviews and get away with it? What has the cricket world come to?

This sets a dangerous precedent in world cricket — one that we could do without.

For his part, Harbhajan Singh was cheeky in his riposte. He asked innocently, “What’s the meaning of the word, please tell me,” and added, “Seriously, who’s Matthew Hayden?”

It is likely that Australian players are peeved that Harbhajan Singh got away with his monkey slur against Andrew Symonds. But there was no tangible evidence in that case! It had to be thrown out, despite the incompetence of Mike Proctor initially. Here there was incontrovertible evidence of a slur! Hayden was caught with his pants down, so to speak — perhaps they were even “Mad Boy” pants! And for him to maintain his “innocence” even after a wrist-slap only suggests, in my view, that the man has a deep-rooted contempt for process, decency and for the opposition!

If Hayden can be unrepentant in the face of such evidence, one can only imagine how vile he must be on the field. That is not to suggest that the Indians are innocent victims or that they are saints. They are, I am sure, giving it back as good as they get!

The Indian team management appear to be sick of all the trash talk they get from the Australians. They wrote as much to match referee Jeff Crowe after last Sunday’s CB Series match. In that letter the Indians claimed that they have tried to pull back from sledging during the ODI series. The letter said, “Even if we have tried to play in the spirit of the game, some of the players from the Australian side have made a few comments that has brought disharmony to the game.” This point that was reiterated by M. S. Dhoni in subsequent interviews.

Indian cricket board secretary Niranjan Shah said the sledging issue had become “out of hand and is going too far”..

This summer has seen its fair share of controversies between Australia and India. No tour has seen as many unsavory incidents as this one has! And there are no signs that things will abate or settle down! The Indians are going to get stuck into the Australians on Sunday. One can expect Sydney fans to get stuck into Harbhajan Singh. One can expect Indian fans buying tickets already for October so that they can get stuck into the Australians when the Aussies visit India!

Is this what we want cricket to be all about?

The shame in all of this is that the cricket has been at its very best! Sadly all of that is being forgotten by the trash talk and gutter filth.

Time to tape the players’ mouths and give them bats and balls to play with instead.

— Mohan

36 responses to “Hayden unrepentant but cops wrist slap…

  1. I see an “unnamed” Indian player called Hayden “insane”. I suppose that is ok?

  2. Where is the rest of Harbhajan’s response? The Indian team need to grow up and accept that they themselves have behaved in an unsportsmanlike fashion, anyone see the last series in india? Or Harbhajan running laps of the oval after taking ponting’s wicket.
    If the Indians are so worried, they should fight fire with fire. Do it on the pitch, as they seem to think Autralia get away with it easily enough. Why is it that Harbhajan is noticed and the australians are not? It is not because the indians are innocent, it’s cos they’re hot headed and have behaved in an unsportsmanlike fashion. Crying because you’ve been busted is not what a sportsman would do.

  3. Mohan,

    I thought what was even more shocking in Hayden’s interview was his mimicking of Ishant’s accent which I’ve heard many westerners use when imitating an Indian speaking English. I am surprised that no one has talked about this issue at all….

  4. @JB: “I see an “unnamed” Indian player called Hayden “insane”. I suppose that is ok?”

    You bet your last friggin’ Aussie-beach-race-riot it is!! After that foul-mouthed lout opened his trap, it’s open season!

  5. @JB

    It is not ok for an Indian player to say “Hayden is a foul mouthed drunken lout” and expect to get away with it.

    An “unnamed Indian player” is neither here nor there. The reporter could be making it up. After all, if one trusts Malcolm Conn in The Australian a lot of Australian players are “pissed off with Indian players”.

    Here, Hayden is “on record”. Off record stuff is neither here nor there.

    — Mohan

  6. Mohan,

    Have a cuppa and a good lie down.

    You are over reacting to what was a jokey interview to promote ticket sales (which, I believe, have been poor) on an FM radio station

    I’m already on record about what I think of Hayden’s comments but there is no need for you have a hissy fit.

    I can’t believe I’m about to write this but Bhajji’s response was right on the money & put the Hayden into context

  7. @The Pav

    As I said I am willing to accept that it was a “joke gone wrong”. If that was the case, the appropriate response from Hayden, as I said in my article itself, would have been, “Boys it was a joke gone wrong. Let’s focus on the cricket. Thanks.” rather than, “I maintain my innocence.”

  8. “An “unnamed Indian player” is neither here nor there.”

    Well, at least Hayden has the fortitude to standby his comments. Rather than making comments under gutless veil of anonymity.

    I really can’t beleive that you guys can’t see that your teams behaviour is just as much to blame for all this as ours is.

  9. Shubs,

    Please let it be open season. CA has been making a lot of money through fines this series. We can always use some more.

  10. H L Cadambi (Cad)

    Re your last sentence: I fully agree that both teams are to blame for all that has transpired (and have tried to say so in previous posts). On the other hand, a number of posts from Aussie fans suggest they see this as being entirely the fault of the Indians, and that the Aussies are blameless!
    One thing I would like your views on. Hayden says “I maintain my innocence; my intentions were never to denigrate cricket or anyone. But in the spirit of cricket I respect and accept the decision”.
    a/ If CA has found him ‘guilty’ of violating their code, surely he cannot continue to maintain his innocence without implying that the hearing was biased / wrong? If he is implying that, what should CA do next? Also how does that jell with respecting the decision?
    b/ If his intentions were not to denigrate cricket or ANYONE, what else were his intentions in saying what he did.
    c/ He accepts the decision – did he have a choice?

  11. @Cadambi

    That was exactly the point of my post. In short, Hayden is in contempt of Rule 9, the process as well as the “court” that ruled. I am more shocked that he has got away with his post-ruling comments than his offensive, but perhaps “in jest” remarks.

  12. Hi Cad,

    Hayden was stirring the pot. Clearly there is bad blood between him and Harbhajan. And he expressed this publically. Don’t forget the Australian public are sick of Harbhajan so he found a receptive audience.

    Saying that, it is a bit stupid to come out and say that he was innocent. He should have just accepted the reprimand. He is clearly not sorry for what he said and has no intention of appologising.

    So I guess the answer is c) – in that he accepted the decision and he didn’t have a choice but to accept it. But clearly he doesn’t agree with it.

  13. @JB

    I have always maintained that both sides are to blame. Most Australian newspaper commentators (Lalor, Conn, et al) and fans would have you believe that it is a “crooked-and-cash-rich-arrogant-cry-baby-Indians” Vs “The All-Saints” series!

    — Mohan

  14. @JB

    Stirring the pot is not a crime. But there are ways to stir it. Hayden just lost the plot!

    If the Australian public is sick of Harbhajan Singh, Hayden is not their spokesperson.

    And if Hayden is sick of Harbhajan Singh, does it not mean that Harbhajan Singh has won the “Mental Disintegration” battle? Should he not receive an “Order of Australia” medal for beating the Australians at their own game? Or is it just that the Australians find it hard to receive a taste of their own medicine?

    If he didn’t agree with the decision and comes out in contempt of the court’s decision, it is time to haul him back in. Cricket Australia is looking a bit worse for wear right now, in my view. It is shown to be a limp organisation that cannot kick the heads in of one of their contracted employees and toe him into line.

  15. H L Cadambi (Cad)

    If Iam reading you correctly, Hayden is “lying” when he says his intention was not to denigrate anyone.
    And, you have not given your views on something I asked – given that by maintaining he is innocent he is actually cocking a snoop at the process and the hearing, what in your opinion should CA do now (if CA is to retain its self respect)?

  16. @Cad

    Spot on. At the moment, CA has been shown to be a “limp” organisation with one of its employees thumbing his nose at it saying “nah-nah-nah-nah-nah”

    — Mohan

  17. its a clear case of the superiority complex that the australian players suffer from..
    he did a mistake and he should have accepted…no matter what he thinks …
    sxpressing his views in public was a big mistake…
    and he should be humble enough to accept it…

    and the way he was fun about both harbhajan and ishant was totally rude..

  18. Cad, Monkankaus and Arvind,

    Yes, he is thumbing his nose at the CA. And good on him as well.

    In his response Hayden is towing the party line, which is slightly differen’t from lying. At the same time he is communicating that he disagrees with the decision.

    Say what you like about the CA. Prefer them to the BCCI anyday.

  19. H L Cadambi (Cad)

    Come on JB!
    1. Are you saying due process is fine as long as the player agrees with the result, and is not if he disagrees?
    2. How is Hayden not lying? What you are saying is that the party line itself is far from the truth!!
    3. I have no idea, nor care, whether CA is better than BCCI; what I do know is that the BCCI generally stinks.
    4. You still haven’t said: what do you think CA should now do?


  20. Mohankaus,

    Hayden was found gulty of breaching the code by denigrating Bhajji.

    If his comments were a joke (poor taste excepted) then by definition there is no intent.

    On that basis accepting the decision is an acceptance that his judgement was awry but there was no intent.

    On the basis his statement
    “I maintain my innocence, my intentions were never to denigrate cricket or anyone,” he said.

    makes sense and is a logical progression.

    Having said that I would have expected a more specific & fulsome apology.

    At least , finally , one of the boards has taken action ( however feeble one may regard it) on one of its own players.

  21. Cad,

    The CA can’t really do anything can they? What would you suggest is approprate? Remember that whatever happens to him should be applicable for any Indian player as well.

  22. H L Cadambi (Cad)

    Absolutely agree. BCCI has issued an informal gag order, and yet Harbhajan has said something on the issue. I think BCCI should ban him from the finals, or fine him…
    Likewise, CA should not just turn away from the issue. BTW why do say CA cannot do anything? Hayden is a contracted player with CA, the hearing was under CA’s overall authority. Of course CA can ban / fine / take other appropriate action.

  23. Cad,

    Of course the CA could do something. But any punishment would be seen as excessive for the crime.

    That’s why I suggest they can’t really do anything. But you are right, they could if they had the “will”.

  24. H L Cadambi (Cad)

    In most countries (India and Australia included), contempt of court is viewed as a very serious offence indeed; that is the basis for respect for the law.
    The real pity in this entire sequence of events is that if CA and BCCI had, at the outset, together reined in their players and promised tough action on any transgression, (and, ensured that umpires and match referees did a good enough job not allowing anything to get out of hand in the first place), we could all have sat back and enjoyed some really good cricket!

  25. Cad,

    That is exactly right.

  26. You final words are right – all this brouhaha has overshadowed some fine cricket.

    Hayden’s whole interview was pretty crass and classless considering he is a senior member of the Australian side. Especially his digs at Ishant Sharma, imitating the Indian accent and inviting him into a boxing ring. Quite pathetic.

    Apart from the send-off to Symonds, Sharma has never openly sledged any Australians. And
    who is Hayden to give advice to Ishant anyway. This is a 19-year old kid doing well in his first tour of Australia – he is bound to be exhuberent. What does Haydos have to say about Brett Lee or Mitchell Johnson’s post-wicket celebrations (not that I mind their celebrations either).

  27. What else can you expect from descendents of convicts?

  28. The overall trend in any cricket forum or discussion is aussie fans pronouncing that the Aussies are doing nothing wrong and the Indians are the rich-spoilt-brats.

    If “what happens on the field stays on the field” is the policy, Hayden should should have kept his trap shut while talking publicly. If he has accepted the decision, an apology was in order here.

    Other than that, I have generally noticed that the aussie fans are not ready to accept that its been the aussie players who have been provocating all throughout the series. If you see the video of Symonds’ dismissal, it is very clear that he said something to Ishant who reacted to it by mouting off and pointing to the pavilion. Don’t forget that this is the same Ishant who congratulated Symonds on his century after h knew very well that Symonds was clearly out earlier to him but the umpire denied him the wicket.

    All these years Indians had just ignored the ranting and blabbering by the Aussies. But now these next generation players have decided to retaliate – which in my opinion is not wrong at all. When you get it, you might as well give it back.

  29. these young indians may not win that many games against oz..yet.But they will give it as good as they get.Remember their guts of glory chase recently?

    This is young India,pals, they dont give a tinkers cuss about foul mouthed(stupid0 white men…

    let the games begin…

  30. A bunch of Aussies including Hayden, Clarke, Ponting, and commentators like Healy are more suited to be fighting the pointless war in Iraq because they seem heavily right wing, stupid, arrogant, greedy, and sacrificial and their loss will not be felt…Cricket is not for them. IPL bidders showed their true values and they still went for it.

  31. While it’s discourteous, sure, Hayden’s comment is not racist, and I don’t get the ho-hum surrounding this issue. It’s very common in other sports for players to use provocation language of this nature.

    Grow up, guys!

  32. Seems to me Bhajji got it right.Oz is running scared.Matthew Hayden seems to have all the discretion of a bull in a Red China Shop..but truly, lets just get this over with.India will eclipse Oz sooner rather than later in ODIS
    In tests somehow, with the “fab 5” going away,may take a while.

    This is a New India.They defer to none.Watch it,oz…

  33. Ok.So much for Saint Hayden who asks ‘what would Jesus do?” before every significant event and his spats with the heathen Indians.

    Ashes 2005:Hayden fielding at 3rd man.Shaun Tait uproots geraint Jone’s stumps.

    The Saintly Hayden, turns around, pumps his mighty right arm, rests it on his left arm and shows it to the crowd..which included women and children.

    Wonder who’s a bullyweed now??!!!

  34. I think it was on this site that I was given a link to a Newspaper Article by Patrick Smith in
    “The Australian” 1st March.

    For ALL you Aust cricket fans in continous SELF
    DENIAL I suggest you read it. After all, would he LIE, he’s an Aussie(i think).

    Hayden should stop using cane toads in his cooking recipes it’s affecting the little bit of Grey Matter he has left.

    Hayden & Symonds are the 2 biggest Posers in the Team, next is M Clarke.And why didn’t Hayden make the sign of the cross when he collected his award at the Border Medal the other night and why did Symonds not have his Zinc cream on, those camera lights can get pretty
    hot like the lights at cricket venues.

    Hayden saying that he would like to take young Sharma into the Boxing Ring,What a Tosser.
    Do you reckon he’d Invite someone like Chris Gayle into the Ring, I seriously Doubt it.

    Can’t wait for next Test Series in India around
    October, I’ll be there with my Kangaroo Vindaloo sign just as I was at the WACA.

  35. Pingback: Crunch time for both teams… « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

  36. Being civil doesn’t cost much. Would you talk the same way if you are face to face? Leave the players out of this. Right now, they are too far gone. But why are bloggers who haven’t even met each other being rude to each other.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s