Australia wicket-keeper Brad Haddin has insisted there will be no changes in his on-field approach despite calls for an end to ‘sledging’ during the upcoming Ashes series against England.
Ahead of next week’s first Test in Cardiff, England paceman James Anderson has contrasted the sporting atmosphere which prevailed during his side’s recent series with New Zealand to the bitterness of the last Ashes campaign, which Australia won 5-0 on home soil in 2013/14, and urged an end to ‘sledging’ or verbal abuse of opposition players on the field.
But Haddin, much criticised for the way in which he gave departing New Zealand batsmen ‘send-offs’ during Australia’s World Cup final victory in Melbourne in March, was quick to point out that Anderson himself had not been shy of dishing out the ‘verbals’ during previous Ashes campaigns.
“They start half of it! What about Jimmy Anderson? He has called for peace hasn’t he? He better look at himself in the mirror,” said Haddin in the build-up to Australia’s four-day tour match against Essex in Chelmsford starting Wednesday.
“I have never played in an Ashes campaign where things have got out of hand, this one will be no different,” said the 37-year-old Haddin, a veteran of 65 Tests.
“The tradition of the urn deserves that, to play the brand of cricket we play, and England play. We have not won (an Ashes series) here (England) for 14 years now. The Ashes will be played in the great spirit (they) always have (been), but it will be contested.”
Haddin also said thought of Australia adopting the approach of New Zealand, who have long since abandoned ‘sledging’, was a non-starter.
“We are not New Zealand. We won the World Cup final. We will play the way we play, which works for us, and if you like it, you like it,” he said.
The forthcoming five-Test series will be England’s first under Australian coach Trevor Bayliss, someone Haddin knows well from their time together at New South Wales and in the Big Bash League with the Sydney Sixers.
Haddin believes Bayliss will do a good job for England, just as he did while coaching Sri Lanka from 2007-2011.
“Trevor has had a massive influence on my career. It first started as captain as New South Wales, he gave me the chance to do that,” said Haddin.
“He is a great person and takes a lot of the anxiety out of the changing room and gets cricketers enjoying the game, will never rant and rave, is pretty even tempered. He is a really good appointment, and the bottom line with Trevor is he is a good man.”
Meanwhile Haddin said he had no qualms about one of his compatriots being in charge of the ‘old enemy’.
“No, I could not care less,” he said.
“Trevor is a career coach, he has had some wonderful success with Sri Lanka and New South Wales, everywhere he has been. That is no different to players who want to test themselves at the highest level. I called him to congratulate him on his role and said ‘I will talk to you after the fifth Test’.”
Haddin added: “Ashes campaigns are totally different beasts to any other cricket, but no matter what has happened on the pitch with the result, at the end of the fifth Test, the doors of both changing rooms have been opened, and that has happened ever since I have been involved. We will all share a beer with him and maybe he might buy one now he has some pounds.”