Sledging row: Gilchrist springs to Hayden's defence
Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist defended his team mate Matthew Hayden on Thursday against allegations about his unpopularity among fellow international cricketers.
Hayden was reprimanded on Wednesday for describing India's Harbhajan Singh as an "obnoxious weed", the spinner fighting back by suggesting that Hayden was not well liked by many opponents.
"I've not ever cared to think what other teams think of Matthew Hayden," Gilchrist told reporters.
"He's one of the most well-respected people in our team, so that's all that interests me."
Australia play India in the best-of-three finals of the Tri-Series, starting in Sydney on Sunday.
"When you start to play on emotion, that's when you don't play well," Gilchrist said. "You've got to play on skill."
Gilchrist, who retires after the tournament, said he was trying to focus on cricket after a number of draining off-field controversies. "I'm just trying to get on with the finals and play some cricket," he said.
"I'm sure everyone is just keen to let cricket get on. There's been a lot on, a lot of issues. It's been tough work for everybody."
Australia play Sri Lanka in a dead match in Melbourne on Friday.
(Reporting by Ed Osmond in Sydney)