Former New Zealand players have lambasted the Australians for having "double standards" on sledging and said they should be ashamed of their "gutless and churlish" charge of racial abuse against Harbhajan Singh.
Launching a scathing attack on their trans-Tasmanian neighbours, the players -- John Morrison, Dipak Patel and Simon Doull -- said the the Australians were themselves so foul-mouthed that they had no moral right to complain about others.
Morrison, who played for New Zealand in the 1970s and 80s, said, "They've basically run off to tell the teacher on Harbhajan Singh."
"If the Aussies have any conscience at all, surely they'd be ashamed over this because it's just gutless, it's churlish, it's childish - the sort of thing you'd see in a playground," he was quoted as saying in the 'Dominican Post'.
"A lot of good cricket people around the world will not like what's happened here," he added.
Former captain Stephen Fleming said the matter, which looked a bit "schoolboyish" initially, became a mess because of lack of independent evidence.
"The Harbhajan aspect is interesting. It sounds like there is a case there to be answered, it's the player's word against another - without the match officials it's very messy," Fleming was quoted as saying by NZPA.
"It does look a little bit schoolboyish, though the racial issue does cause concern for a lot of players. There's been a big push to stamp it out," he added.