New Delhi:The Cricket Board on Friday reacted strongly to Matthew Hayden's comment about India being a 'third world' country, saying such a remark was totally uncalled for from the Australian opener.
Back home after the 2-0 series defeat, Hayden spoke about, what he perceived, poor ground conditions and inordinate delays during the matches "that happen in Third World countries".
Not to take it lying down, BCCI Finance Committee Chairman Rajiv Shukla lashed out at the Australian for his remarks.
"This was a completely uncalled for remark by him. A player of his stature should not have made the comment," an angry Shukla said.
"If slow-over rate is your habit, why blame India for that and call India third world? We are a very prestigious nation and it was not a nice comment by him," Shukla said. Hayden made a list of things which he felt resulted in Australia's slow over-rates in the series against India. He alleged the Indian batsmen were reluctant to "face up" quickly enough and there was constant movements around sightscreens.
"They (opposition batsmen) are very difficult to get to face up," Hayden said.
"Often we find ourselves with hands on hips waiting for someone to either face up or someone in the sightboard to move away; all the little frustrations that happen in Third World countries and the heat as well," he added.
Australia were nine overs or 40 minutes behind schedule onthe penultimate day of the fourth and final Test in Nagpur, which forced their skipper Ricky Ponting to use part-time spinners instead of pacers at a crucial juncture.
Ponting, who could have been banned for a Test for the slow over-rate, subsequently came under severe criticism for his tactics.
Hayden, however, admitted over-rates have always been a problem for Australia.
"We've had trouble with our over rates for a long time now. It's not just us in international cricket that seems to struggle with it for whatever reason," Hayden said.