Hayden says Aussies disappointed - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hayden says Aussies disappointed

By Adam Cooper 14/05/2004 05:58:31 PM Comments (0)

Gun opener Matthew Hayden believes the Australian cricketers are entitled to be disappointed at not playing Zimbabwe's best side after their hopes of a competitive Test series took another blow.

A chance meeting with Zimbabwe allrounder Sean Ervine, one of the 15 rebel players sacked by the Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU) last week, all but confirmed to the Australians that the coming two Tests loom as one of the most lopsided series in the sport's history.

Some of the Australian players met Ervine in Johannesburg Airport en route to Harare and were dismayed to learn he was travelling to Perth, where he has friends, and had given up on having his contract reinstated.

The Australians had remained hopeful the rebels and the ZCU could strike an agreement before the first Test, in Harare starting May 22, but that last flicker appears lost.

"It's never a good sign when you see one of the other players going in the opposite direction to what you are," Hayden said.

"Hopefully what I've seen in Jo'burg's not a sign of what the next month is going to be like, otherwise I'd be very, very disappointed.

"If we're playing a second-string side or whatever side that's not their (best) side ... which we don't know at this stage having just landed, then we've got every right to be disappointed."

Zimbabwe will take a side that many Australian club line-ups could beat into the second Test against Sri Lanka, starting on Friday in Bulawayo, and unless the rebels and the ZCU sort out their conflict over team selection policies, the second-string team will be easy pickings for the world champions.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting has already promised a ruthless game-plan to win the Tests as quickly as possible.

Ponting also said his side would not play for milestones and Hayden backed up that claim by laughing when asked if he was any chance of overtaking Brian Lara's new world mark of 400.

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