Hayden backs Watson as Ponting, Hussey keep mum on team crisis

Matthew Hayden, who played with Shane Watson for Australia and Queensland from 2003 to 2008, described the 31-year-old all-rounder as a team man.

Updated: March 13, 2013 21:55 IST
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Melbourne: Sacked Australian vice-captain Shane Watson got the backing of former opening batsman Matthew Hayden while ex-captain Ricky Ponting refused comment on the unprecedented dumping of four key players from the team for the third Test against India.

Hayden also questioned whether senior Australian cricket officials were committed to the "fundamental Australian ways" of the game.

Hayden, who played with Watson for Australia and Queensland from 2003 to 2008, described the 31-year-old all-rounder, who has now returned home to be at the side of his pregnant wife, as a team man.

"Shane is a team man and vice-captain of our nation. With his immense talents with both bat and ball he has risen to become one of this country's more decorated performers in all forms of game," Hayden said.

"I have played with Shane since he was a boy. He has battled with injury and overcome the obstacles presented in true Aussie spirit," he was quoted as saying by Australian Associated Press.

Hayden took potshots at Cricket Australia's high performance director Pat Howard, who had questioned Watson's commitment, and other CA officials.

"I hope every inch of Pat Howard and senior management has those core and fundamental Australian values pumping through their veins!"

However, batting greats Ponting and Mike Hussey declined to comment about the current situation, as did former batting coach Justin Langer.

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