Australian news October 10, 2010

Hayden tells of career advice to Symonds


Matthew Hayden is a man of many talents but even he was surprised to learn he had won the 100m freestyle at the Commonwealth Games this week. The announcer in Delhi had cut off the first name of Brent Matthew Hayden - a bald, hulking figure from Canada - before the gold medal ceremony and there was brief local excitement that the batsman had swapped sports and allegiances.

Hayden the cricketer has done some swimming - but only for safety. When his fishing boat sank in the rather dangerous waters off Brisbane he and Andrew Symonds were forced to paddle to shore. Hayden, who is currently a Twenty20 player, administrator, television host, businessman and philanthropist, was definitely not in Delhi on Sunday; he was at the Gabba for the launch of his new book, Standing My Ground.

He said the high point of his on-field career was his performance at the 2007 World Cup, which included scoring 659 runs and landing a huge marlin, and the low was the 2005 Ashes loss. In front of John Buchanan, the former coach, Hayden said the boot camp in the lead-up to the 2006-07 Ashes cleansweep helped unite a previously "fractured" unit. He also told how Shane Warne, a fierce critic of Buchanan's methods, sat in a ditch during one night of gruelling exercises saying: "I'm weak, I'm soft and I want to go home."

In the book Hayden recalls asking Symonds if he still wanted to play for Australia following his suspension for going fishing in Darwin in 2008. "You have to grapple with this," Hayden said. "If you say, 'Yes, I really do want to play for Australia', you won't hear me or anyone else saying you can cut corners, because the culture is bigger than you. You have to build relationships with the media, Cricket Australia ... everyone. You have to compromise and do things you don't want to do, things you did in the past that made Australia the best team in the world."

Symonds couldn't manage it for long and walked away from the national set-up after being sent home from the World Twenty20 in 2009. Hayden said Symonds felt let down following his claim that India's Harbhajan Singh called him a "monkey" during the Sydney Test of 2007-08. Harbhajan was banned for three matches for racial abuse but it was overturned on appeal. "The verdict was a sobering jolt to us all," Hayden said.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JIGNESH on October 14, 2010, 1:09 GMT

    @ Venkat_Super_11, you said Australian Boards let Symonds down. Now think about why his own board let him down? Because his own board is racial right? Or may be he is guilty accusing Harbhajan calling him moinkey. Well, Harbhajan already punished by 2 matches suspension, so he already got what he deserved. So what now? Please read my previous comment about calling someone "Monkey" is not a racial.

  • Dummy4 on October 13, 2010, 12:43 GMT


  • Robert on October 12, 2010, 9:18 GMT

    I 100 percent agree with Venkat_Super_11. The main issue with it was how it was handled. The aftermath and the possibility that Indian team were going to abandon the series over this issue was akin to being childish in the opinion of most Australians. Like a child taking thier bat and ball and going home because they were not happy with the outcome. At the end of the day the BCCI flexed it cash strong muscle and CA backed down. Symonds was left bemused, bewildered and evetually careerless. Harbhajan went on to berate and abuse a fellow team mate and still acts the clown. I consider Harbhajan a good cricketer but his actions have forever sullied his name. The two boards and the ICC's handling of the incident robbed cricket watchers of the world a fantastic entertainer in Andrew Symonds.

  • Dummy4 on October 11, 2010, 16:32 GMT

    @Venkat_Super_11, Symmonds didnt leave the team, he was kicked out after his nth disciplinary violation. The only thing that did'nt happen right on that verdict was that Symmo got away scot-free despite starting the entire scene!!

  • Dummy4 on October 11, 2010, 16:29 GMT

    Agree to Debbie and Sharath. This is hypocrisy of the highest order. If there's anyone who got away unpunished from the entire saga, it was Symmonds himself!! Its 2 and a half years since this incident happened and even today these guys keep cribbing on it. Absolutely pathetic

  • Venkatesan on October 11, 2010, 15:31 GMT

    To Anubhav Agrawal: It's nothing but a shame for the whole country of India for Harbhajan making such a senseless comment on his fellow sportsperson. And please avoid justifying it by throwing the stone on Australia. No doubt, Australian players are known for sledging and agressive attitude but they have never gone to Harbhajan's level. Harbhajan is just a shame to the whole country and he thinks that he is a hero by attacking other players, particularly, Australians, verbally and personally. BCCI with its influence, has managed to rescue him but whatever he did was down to the bottom and he deserves to be thrown out of the team. Poor Symonds. If Symonds was given the right to handle it himself, he would have just lifted him and smashed him out (In fact I wish he did). BCCI is another hypocrite. And it's correct that Symonds decided to leave the team after the Australian board let him down.

  • Dummy4 on October 11, 2010, 5:54 GMT

    Harbhajan prove about his behaviour through his on field incident with sreesanth in IPL even he cant tolarate with his indian team mates we can asume how could he behave with Symo..its really sad even the sachin was backed bhajji for was harm the sprit of cricket..but there real faces came out

  • Dummy4 on October 11, 2010, 1:41 GMT

    You Australians still don't understand that what Harbhajan did was a not a rascial gesture but making fun of how Symonds look and acts like. It was making fun of things Symonds does which appear to any Indian like an act of Monkey especially his cream at the centre of his face. If Australians don't accept the incident as it was they might have to carry a false baggage to their grave. May be that's why Symonds and Hayden were not able to achieve things what people like Steve Waugh and Sachin Tendulkar were able to achieve. Indians are not racist by nature, it is a common phenomenon in Australia. If a research is made in Australia it would be difficult to find even a single non-racist person in your country

  • Dummy4 on October 11, 2010, 0:53 GMT

    i have no time for hayden. he's a hypocrite, he was overly abusive on the field and overly confrontational, and then when it suited him he'd pretend he was mr nicey nice coming over all spiritual and worldly. Read what Graeme Smith says about him when he was playing his first test. Hayden stood right beside him when he was 20/21 swearing and belittling him constantly.

  • Sayontan on October 10, 2010, 22:40 GMT

    Surprising how a reference to one's parents ("Maa ki ..." - what Harbhajan claimed he said) is a less offensive taunt than a reference to one's ancestors ("Monkey" - what Symonds claimed Harbhajan said). IMHO the Aussies have been petulant about Sydney for a long time because it was one of the rare incidents when they couldn't have their way. There are innumerable incidents where Aussies have gotten away without any punishment for visible and audible on-field altercations wholly instigated by them, simply sweeping such incidents under the carpet claiming "mental disintegration" and "friendly banter". They are just rubbish when someone dishes it out to them. Personally I am more inclined to believe that Harbhajan said "Maa ki ...", because in Hindi that would be a much more effective invective than "Monkey".

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