Former Pakistan bowler Shoaib Akhtar on Thursday recalled the 2003 World Cup encounter with former Australia opener Matthew Hayden and said that the pair never got along after a ‘bad fight’. Speaking to former England allrounder Andrew Flintoff in a Youtube video, Akhtar said: “I got into a fight with Matthew Hayden. First game of World Cup. We lost it, I completely lost it. Me and Matthew Hayden never got on really well,” he said.
“He never knew about me. He called me ‘C-grade actor, and ‘a low-grade fast bowler’. So I said that ‘Matthew, I am going to get you in the World Cup’. Bad luck, we lost the game, and it was even more bad luck that we got up for breakfast very early in the morning,” he added.
Akhtar recalled that the two got into a heated argument and had to be pulled away from each other. “He and I were standing alone, having a breakfast, and had a verbal chat. And we got into a fight. A really, really bad fight. So thank god, they came in and pushed us away,” he said.
Akhtar further admitted he struck Hayden five times in a match, but the former Aussie batsman did not move an inch. “Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer – they used to tease me a lot. They used to ask me to bowl quick, and quick, and quick. I wasted a lot of my energy in Melbourne and Perth Test matches.
“I hit them very badly, I hit Hayden about five times in three overs. But the guy never moved an inch. I was shocked to see that. People used to get under my skin a lot,” he said.