Hayden backs 'axed' Watson, says CA lacks 'fundamental Oz ways' of cricket
Melbourne, Mar 14 : Australian Test great Matthew Hayden has strongly supported axed vice-captain Shane Watson calling him a team man, and adding that senior cricket officials may not be committed to the 'fundamental Australian ways' of the game.
Watson, who was stood down from the Mohali Test along with Mitchell Johnson, Usman Khawaja and James Pattinson for failing to complete a "homework" task, is at the crossroads of his career after Cricket Australia's high-performance manager, Pat Howard suggested the vice-captain was selfish by saying he was a 'sometime' team player, the Age reports.
Although Watson's teammates and former Test players like Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey, along with batting coach Justin Langer were reluctant to speak on the situation, Hayden, who played with Watson for Australia and Queensland from 2003 to 2008, praised the vice-captain for his team spirit.
According to Hayden, Watson's gentle disposition coupled with his competitive streak has enabled his talents in both batting and bowling and has led him to become one of Australia's most celebrated performers in all forms of the game.
Stating that he has known Watson since his boyhood, Hayden said that the vice-captain has battled with injury and risen in a true Australian spirit in spite of major setbacks to overcome the obstacles which he faced on and off the field.
Criticising CA and Pat Howard, Hayden said that he hoped that the CA management is committed to the core and fundamental Australian ways of the game and expressed his sadness due to the under-performing team in India.
Stating that the team has succumbed both culturally and socially to the pressure of consecutive Test losses in India, Hayden said that the team needed to come out of their doldrums as Australian cricket represented going ahead with the game in spite of any given challenges.