'Never heard more crap': Haddin reacts to Atherton's 'love letter' to Ben Stokes | Crickit

'Never heard more crap': Brad Haddin reacts to Michael Atherton's 'love letter' to Ben Stokes ahead of 100th Test

Feb 15, 2024 08:59 AM IST

Brad Haddin has rubbished Michael Atherton's version of the confrontation that took place between Ben Stokes and the ex-Australia keeper at the 2013 Ashes.

Brad Haddin has reacted strongly to what Michael Atherton had to say about an incident involving the former Australia wicketkeeper and Ben Stokes during the 2013 Ashes series – Stokes's debut. Atherton, while paying tribute to Stokes as the England captain gets ready to play his 100th Test today, in his column for The Telegraph UK, claimed that Haddin was put in his place after he tried to get under Stokes' skin. Referring to a confrontation between Haddin and Stokes, Atherton wrote that the ex-Australia keeper quickly realised that the all-rounder wasn't someone to mess around with.

Ben Stokes and Brad Haddin had a brief episode during the 2013 Ashes(Getty)
Ben Stokes and Brad Haddin had a brief episode during the 2013 Ashes(Getty)

"All the talent, ability, character and aptitude for the occasion at the highest level were immediately in evidence, following a stand-up confrontation with Brad Haddin, Australia's experienced wicketkeeper, in the first match and a maiden hundred in the second," the former England captain wrote.

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"I wouldn't get yourself much further into this one with him, mate," Haddin was warned by Anderson in Adelaide, "he doesn't quite know the difference between on and off the pitch, if you know what I mean. 'Nutter,' said Matt Prior to Haddin, nodding in Stokes' direction. Haddin did not utter a word after that. Immediately, Australia's players knew they were dealing with a character to be reckoned with, and in Perth, after a brilliant hundred, they knew they were dealing with a cricketer to be reckoned with."

Haddin's version of what really happened

Haddin's perspective on the entire incident stood in stark contrast to Atherton's. Calling Atherton's tribute to Stokes a 'love letter', Hadding sounded extremely ticked off, labelling the former England captain's version utter garbage. Haddin scored 93 in the first innings in Adelaide and received a reprieve when Stokes dismissed him off a no-ball while he was on 51.

Of course, it was the start of a magnificent Test career for Stokes, but Haddin had been around for a while too, and with 493 runs – Australia's second-highest run-getter of the series behind David Warner – made a bit of an impact himself.

"My response is I've never heard more crap in my life What, we were meant to be intimidated by Ben Stokes? I'll tell you what did happen. There was a confrontation mid-wicket and we started it. There was a plan, if you see in your moment, maybe you can niggle him enough. Anyway, he got the better of me. He nicked me off for 50 (but it was a) no ball. So I've walked back in and as I've walked past Ben Stokes I congratulated him on his first Test wicket," Haddin replied while speaking on the Willow Talk podcast.

"So I found my opening. He’s blown up, he's blowing and I'm going back at him. It was quite amusing. Matt [Prior] didn't say a word. For him and Jimmy Anderson to say we were what, intimated by Ben Stokes. What was he going to do? He was a kid playing a Test match. Well, they didn't get their facts right there."

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