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February 21, 2007
Martin Crowe, the former New Zealand captain, believes Adam Gilchrist's comments that Australia did not want to tour for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy were "disrespectful". Gilchrist said most of Australia's players would have preferred to rest - he and Ricky Ponting did not make the trip - ahead of the World Cup and the attitude showed as Australia lost the series 3-0.
"That's probably the most disrespectful thing that's been said and done in the last few weeks," Crowe told Sydney's 2KY. "This Chappell-Hadlee series is supposed to be the Bledisloe Cup of cricket. It's named after two great families. It's a series that's always going to be in the calendar every year."
Crowe said New Zealand, who cleanswept the contest with a one-wicket victory in Hamilton on Tuesday, wanted the trophy to be treated with respect. "Why didn't they rest Ponting and Gilchrist in those games when they had already qualified for the tri-series final and then come here? If I was leading their World Cup campaign, I would definitely have my captain in the last three games heading into the tournament."
Michael Hussey, the stand-in captain, did not agree with Gilchrist's remarks and said the players in the squad were "keen to do well". "Someone like Mitchell Johnson, who played two of the games, he wouldn't be jaded," Hussey said in The Australian. "He hasn't played much cricket at all this summer.
"I don't think that's a reason. Shane Watson is another one who hasn't had a lot of cricket, so it's probably been a real positive for those guys to get some good, hard cricket and to be put under so much pressure."
Watson and Johnson both struggled as New Zealand successfully chased Australia's 5 for 346 at Hamilton. Watson, who was in the fifth international of his return from a hamstring injury, had figures of 2 for 88 off ten overs while Johnson collected 3 for 81.
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