Protagonists of many an on-field drama, temperamental pacer S Sreesanth said he considers Matthew Hayden a genius and does not know what prompted the belligerent Australian to call him an 'over-rated bowler'.
During the May 7 Indian Premier League match between Hayden's Chennai Super Kings and Sreesanth's Kings XI Punjab at Pretoria, the Australian spanked the Indian pacer for two sixes before falling to him in the same over.
In the subsequent press conference, Hayden alleged Sreesanth had sledged him and said the Kerala pacer was an 'overrated bowler'.
Sreesanth denied sledging the Australian and was clueless what prompted Hayden to say so.
"I came to know from my friends in Bangalore (that) I have been called an over-rated bowler by Matthew Hayden. I don't even know why he said that," Sreesanth said.
"Even my friends were asking me what I said about it. So I said I don't have anything to say. He is a genius, genuine great batsman, the greatest batsman in the world. I have nothing to say on that," he said.
Denying the sledging allegation, the Sreesanth said, "I never sledged...I would love to ask him in the next match when I am playing with the ball, not with the mouth.
"He's a huge personality off the field. I don't want to get into conversation with somebody who just talks. He's a legend at the end of the day. All I can say is that I will try my level best to get him out with my ability."
"...Over-rated or not, I don't really care about my ratings because at the end of the day I will be playing...With God's grace...All I can tell Hayden is 'All the best for the next game'. That's the only way I can answer him," Sreesanth said.
Tired of being in the news for the wrong reasons, Sreesanth requested the media to leave him alone.
"The other day my friends were saying I was already making news...That I had a fight with Yuvraj Singh in the dug-out. I was like 'When did that happen?'
"Sreesanth has already got a bad image, please don't mess it up further. I have not done anything. I have done my very best in the last six or seven months to stay away from all the controversies," he said.