'Utter, utter fabrication' January 5, 2007

Martyn did not row with team-mates insists friend

Cricinfo staff

A close friend of Damien Martyn has strenuously denied that he retired from cricket after a bust-up with team-mates in the aftermath of the second Test at Adelaide.

Martyn retired from all cricket shortly after the match and left the country almost straight away, avoiding all media contact. But Alan Jones, the Sydney radio broadcaster and former Australia rugby union coach, said stories of rows with Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer were "utter, utter fabrication".

"That comes under the category of capital C, capital R, capital A and capital P," Jones told the Herald Sun newspaper. "Justin would confirm that, Matthew would confirm that. Where that has come from is anybody's guess."

Stories have circulated in recent days that one player told Martyn he should quit if he couldn't cope with the pressure.

"He believed he indicated clearly to the Australian selectors why he was leaving the game," Jones said. "It was in the best interests of cricket, in the best interests of the team, in the best interests of him. The team had to get on and win the Ashes and the right thing for him was to stay out of all of that, which is what he has done. He felt to continue on at that point would have put the team at risk and the whole Ashes campaign at risk."

Jones added that stories Martyn has not spoken to any of the team were also untrue. "This nonsense about not communicating ... he has been in touch with everybody. He has texted people, talked to players, they have had some laughs. That's just a myth."