BRISBANE – Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden has described England’s premier strike bowler James Anderson as a “B-Grade” bowler.
Hayden, one of Australia’s best batsmen of their dominant period of the last decade, said Anderson got his “a*** whipped” by Australia so many times that it was not even funny.
Hayden’s slight came after the England pacer said he attacked an “arrogant” Michael Clarke with a batsman’s pad in the dressing room after an Ashes Test during the 2006/07 series.
The autobiography, Jimmy: My Story, revealed that Anderson took to the then Australian No.6 batsman, now Australia’s Test captain, in the home dressing room at the Adelaide Oval following Australia’s six-wicket win.
Writing in his autobiography, Anderson revealed that Australian batsman Damien Martyn had urged him to attack Clarke when both sets of players had enjoyed a drink together following the Adelaide Test.
Anderson also wrote how Martyn then went on to clash with Hayden later that evening, before surprisingly announcing his retirement two days later.
“This has been a big incident, hasn’t it. In reality, James Anderson was a B-grade bowler who got his a***-whipped by Australia that many times it’s not even funny,” Hayden said.
Hayden, who played 103 Tests, added that the inner sanctum of Australia’s dressing room was “something sacred to us”, especially with a few experienced players coming to the end of their careers.
He said: “In fact on that night I was ropeable [angered]. Frankly we’d been hammered over in England so I wasn’t pulling my punches, nor was anyone else in that particular series – you were either on board with Australia wanting to hand them the absolute whipping that they got, or you weren’t.
“My casting memories were sitting on the floor with two great mates in Justin Langer and Glenn McGrath, thinking this could be our last series with two games to go. So I was wanting to absorb every little bit with those blokes. Forget Jimmy Anderson.”
Anderson has 276 Test wickets in 73 matches at an average of 30.40, as well as 222 One-Day International wickets in 164 matches at an average of 30.54.
Hayden finished his Test career with 8,625 runs at an average of 50.73, with 30 Test centuries and a highest score of 380. He also scored 6,133 runs in ODIs at an average of 43.80 with 10 centuries.