New Delhi: Days before their best-of-three final in the CB Series, Matthew Hayden has added fuel to the raging fire between India and Australia, calling spinner Harbhajan Singh an "obnoxious little weed".
The rivalry has again been sparked off after an incident during Sunday's game between the two sides, for which Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma was summoned by the match referee for having allegedly abused Andrew Symonds after taking his wicket in Sydney.
And while India were busy ensuring their spot in the final in their last game against Sri Lanka, the Australian opener told Brisbane Radio, "It's been a bit of a long battle with Harbhajan, the first time I ever met him he was the same little obnoxious weed that he is now."
RIVALRY RENEWED: Hayden's statement comes soon after the Ishant-Symonds episode.
"His record speaks for itself in cricket. There is a certain line that you can kind of go to and then you know where you push it and he just pushes it all the time."
"That's why he has been charged more than anyone that's ever played in the history of cricket," Hayden added.
The new twist to the already enraged war or words between the two sides has ensured a fiesty best-of-three final, the first of which will take the two sides back to the Sydney Cricket Ground, where it all began.
After the ill-fated Sydney Test subsided, the One-day tri-series began on a subdued note, before Australian captain Ricky Ponting was seen having a chat with Harbhajan after the latter's dismissal in India's defeat.
But things flared up during their last game, once again at the SCG, where Ishant Sharma and Andrew Symonds got into a tussle. Reports suggest that Matthew Hayden, too, re-ignited his animosity with Harbhajan, calling him a "mad boy."
The Australian batsman, though, made light of that, and added: ""He took offence to that, I thought that was quite funny. I said mate you should be flattered, it's a clothing range."