The Aussie v India contest continues, not just on the cricket field, but mostly off it. Indian television, having nothing much else to deliver, went to town yesterday on Hayden’s radio interview, where he likened Harbhajan Singh to an objectionable and undesirable plant.
I still think they’re trying to make it a bigger issue than it needs to be, but, listen to the radio interview. For one thing, it’s pretty clear that it was pretty much a pre-meditated affair rather than impulsive, but again, it’s not the weed comment that really needs to be looked at.
Here’s an excerpt:
Host 1: Were you charging Harbhajan Singh the other day and calling him 'mad boy' as you were batting?
Hayden: No, 'bad boy'. 'You bad boy'.
Host 1: That's offensive apparently in India?
Look, folks. Either we all are mindful of what’s offensive (or heck, even rude) in each other’s country, or we all just choose to let the other say what they want. Operative word being ‘all’. You can’t have it both ways, mate.
Host 2: We need to get to the root of the problem and see why they are all so sensitive? What's going on in their lives.
Oh, ha ha. Who started the brouhaha in the first place? Who was being sensitive?
Host 1: Does (Ishant) Sharma come from the same school as Bhajji?
Hayden: Well I think he's just young and as I have said to him many times, mate you're 19, just take it easy. He says, but "I'm playing for my country" (mimics Indian accent).
Of course, Mr. Hayden, you mimicked the accent only out of sheer deference towards international relations.
Aussies have been known for sledging for ages. Maybe it’s just a case of opposing teams now pushing back, indicating ‘enough’. And that’s new to the Aussies?
Hayden has since been charged by Cricket Australia (with some prodding from the Indian Board) for indulging in ‘public denigration of other players against whom they have or will play’ and was issued a reprimand. Indian TV channels will probably disagree, but that’s probably a fair result – a reprimand.
The interesting bit, though, is that Hayden is ‘disappointed’ to be found guilty. "I maintain my innocence, my intentions were never to denigrate cricket or anyone," he said. "But in the spirit of cricket I respect and accept the decision." Gee, thanks, meh.