"Bat-obsessed" Australian cricketers were so infatuated with Sachin Tendulkar's 1998 blade which gave Shane Warne nightmares that they bought the copies of the willow to produce its versions Down Under, former opener Matthew Hayden has revealed.
In his autobiography 'Standing My Ground', Hayden writes that Australians "have massive love affairs with their bats" and a special version of Tendulkar's 1998 blade was manufactured at Brisbane.
"In 1998, the Australian team that was crucified in India by Sachin Tendulkar became so infatuated with the little master that at least eight of them brought back copies of his famous Vampire bat, and Brisbane firm Gabba Sporting Products even produced a special version of it," Hayden wrote.
"Tendulkar's extremely heavy bats were way too heavy for me. In fact, they may have even been too heavy for Tendulkar too. For a time during his career he suffered from an acute case of tennis elbow, and it was widely thought his heavy bats were partially to blame," he said.
Ponting gets set
Sydney: Australia captain Ricky Ponting has started his preparations for the World Cup after being on the sidelines for a month due to a broken finger.
Ponting is still feeling pain but insisted that he was on track to lead Australia's defence of the World Cup later this month. The captain batted in the nets for the first time in four weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured little finger but did not face the fast bowlers.
Ponting faced a series of throw-downs from batting coach Justin Langer and emerged drenched in sweat after the session. "I'm probably better than expected to tell you the truth,” he told reporters.