Hayden regrets "weed" remark, seeks patch up
Regretting his "obnoxious weed" remark on Harbhajan Singh, Australian opener Matthew Hayden said he made a mistake and was keen to patch up with the Indian off-spinner.
Hayden was sad that his poor choice of words added "fuel to the fire" as India's tour Down Under this summer was already packed with controversies.
"I don't know how Harbhajan is feeling but he made it clear how he feels about our team. To put closure on my indiscretion (calling Harbhajan an "obnoxious little weed"), I could have used a different choice of words. In 15 years of cricket, I had a slip. It wasn't to disgrace or denigrate Harbhajan," Hayden said.
"I could have gone for a different turn of phrase. In the end all I did was put fuel on a fire that already existed. It wasn't necessary. It was a mistake," the burly Aussie opener told 'The Courier Mail.'
On Harbhajan calling him a "big lair," Hayden said he would like to talk to the offie and try to improve their relation.
"What I'd like to is have a chat to Harbhajan when we get to India. I want to sit down with him and see if there is any way we can move forward with our relationship because it hasn't been great. I'd like to see where he's at and see if we can patch up our differences. Frankly, everyone is sick of it."
Hayden, however, claimed that despite all the rows, the relationship between Indian and Australian cricketers had not hit rock bottom.
"No I don't think so. Look, there's definite tension, but if I was a spectator, that's what I'd want to see. Rodney Hogg said it best during the summer when he said it's not tiddlywinks.
"If I was a fan and I went to a game that was far from contrived but didn't have a competitive edge, I'd be unimpressed straight away. There can be a sense of hypocrisy there. You know, I cross myself when I get 100, then I'm at first slip giving it to the Indians. At what point do you cross the line?"
Hayden said the Indians were "reasonably pleasant" but very competitive throughout the series.
"They were reasonably pleasant. At the end of the day, two alpha dogs are never going to sit in a cage and not look at each other. It is what it is. The way I see my cricket, if you're the other alpha dog, you better not blink. I feel I'd be letting down my country if I was to blink.
"In terms of general human relations, I wouldn't say there was ill-feeling. India had four months out here. We rarely saw them other than at the ground. It's play and get back into the cage."
Looking forward to play in the Indian Premier League, Hayden said apart from the cash, the IPL would provide him valuable match practice before the tour of the West Indies.
"Yeah, I do want to go and there are some key reasons why I want to go. Firstly, it's only going to be for about two weeks, so that takes away a lot of the revenue we could earn. But right or wrong, I want to use it as a top-up before we go into the West Indian tour. We will still have time to come back from the IPL for a pre-tour camp, which I think is a great thing.
"If anything, the IPL will help us. I've told Chennai I will be playing. I'm committed to going, if Cricket Australia allows me to go," he said.