New Delhi: Australian opener Matthew Hayden, who was charged for violating Cricket Australia's (CA) code of behaviour by speaking against Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh, has been reprimanded and let off without a fine.
Hayden, who called Harbhajan Singh an “obnoxious little weed”, was on Wednesday charged under Rule 9 of the CA Code of Behaviour, which prohibits "detrimental public comments" against other players against whom they have or will play.
Hayden told a Brisbane radio station his dispute with Harbhajan had been running for years but the reason the Indians were complaining so much on this tour was because "they are losing every game they are playing".
CA asked Hayden to attend a judicial hearing in Melbourne on Wednesday and asked him to behave responsibly. "I maintain my innocence. My intention was never to denigrate cricket or anyone but in the spirit of cricket I respect and accept the decision," said Hayden after the hearing.
CA Chief, James Sutherland had called BCCI Secretary, Niranjan Shah on the Hayden issue and told Shah that they are looking into the matter.
What Hayden Said
Brisbane Radio Jockey: Why are Indians calling Australian bullies?
Hayden: That's because they are losing every game they play
Brisbane Radio Jockey: Why don't they (Team India) just shut up and play cricket?
Hayden: That's the most logical thing I have heard this summer
Brisbane Radio Jockey: Were you calling Bhajji a mad boy?
Hayden: No a bad boy. He took offence. I don't know I thought it was funny. I said you should be flattered its a clothing line
Brisbane Radio Jockey: Why are they (Indians) so sensitive?
Hayden: 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.
Brisbane Radio Jockey: That's what we've heard about him (Harbhajan).
Hayden: His records speaks for themselves 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.
Brisbane Radio Jockey: Is Ishant Sharma going to the same school (as Harbhajan)?
Hayden: he is just young. I have said to him many times. You are 19, take it easy. At the end of the day he is 19, why doesn't he just worry about his bowling for a while?
However, the manager of the Indian team Bimal Soni says that what Hayden being let off is not of any concern to the Indians.
"We have nothing to do with what CA has to say. We are here to play cricket. What Hayden has said, he said off the field and that is not our concern. None of the members of the Indian team are feeling any pinch or nervousness. BCCI is is touch with CA. Whatever happens the BCCI will handle it," Soni said.
(With inputs from Reuters)