NatWest Series 2005 June 30, 2005

Hayden angry over swearing claims


Matthew Hayden: 'It's really upsetting to find that there's a story out there which is totally unsubstantiated' © Getty Images
Matthew Hayden has dismissed British newspaper reports that he swore at a child during Tuesday's match against England as "just not true". Several reports claimed that Hayden reacted with an abusive remark to a child who was among those in a flag-waving guard of honour for Australia's rained-off match at Edgbaston.

Hayden, who was also involved in a controversial incident with Simon Jones in the same game was clearly saddened after being told by his wife, Kellie, of the swearing claims. "Personally I'm really upset with the information that's come from back home," said Hayden. "It's really upsetting when you wake up in the morning and find that there's a story out there which is totally unsubstantiated and in fact incorrect. And they've run with it and unfortunately it's a case in point where really, mud sticks and forever there's that tag that you've got that within you and it's just not true.

"You can make up your own mind, there's at least a dozen cameras on us going to that point. You get the vision and you make up your own mind about what it looks like happened. In my mind I'm totally clear of the fact that I go out in my own world looking to play for Australia. You've got to realise that I have a young family at home - [I am] a father of two - and to me that's just unacceptable behaviour and something which I don't condone. Never have done, never will do."

Ricky Ponting expressed concerns about the guard of honour formed by children holding the English Cross of St George's flags and those of the sponsor, but none bearing the Australian Southern Cross, making it inconvenient for the players. "I'm not a great fan of it. You've got things in your face and you are trying to run out on the ground," Ponting said. "Lots of players have different routines and things that they like to when they first set foot on the ground. Quite often there is a cameraman in the middle of that tunnel so if you run on quickly there could be a bit of an accident."

Meanwhile Belinda Dennett, the Australia team spokeswoman, insisted the tourists were wholly satisfied with Hayden's versions of events. "We asked what happened last night. Matthew gave us his word nothing had occurred and he has reiterated that this morning," she said. "We have no reason whatsoever to doubt him. An as yet unidentified person appears to be making these allegations, and until that person is known we just see this whole situation as ridiculous."