Hayden batting jibe hits Boycott for six
Geoffrey Boycott walked out of Radio 4's Test Match Special after former Aussie opener Matthew Hayden insulted his batting style
With Australia and England at each other's throats on the cricket pitch, the tension has spilled over into the commentary box as former Aussie opener Matthew Hayden (above) marked his debut on Radio 4's Test Match Special by offending Geoffrey Boycott.
The irascible Yorkshireman took exception to a comment from Hayden about his batting style and stormed out of the studio during a rain delay on the first day of the third Test at Edgbaston.
As a player, Hayden was renowed for his gung-ho approach to batting and his ability to get up the nose of opponents in the field, and he appears to have maintained the latter talent as a commentator. The Australian commented that Boycott's dour batting style "emptied cricket grounds", prompting the former England opener to walk - something he rarely did during his playing career.
Boycott later commented: "I don't need comments like that at my stage. I felt it was totally inappropriate."
Afterwards, Hayden, a committed Christian, cleared the air by apologising to Boycott and the pair shook hands. However, Boycott is every bit as hard-nosed as Hayden and the episode is sure to add spice to their working relationship, due to continue on both TMS and Five's TV coverage for the rest of the summer.
However, the incident did not appear to worry the TV broadcaster. A spokesman for Five said: "A bit of tension between the pundits will give our shows an extra bite." Quite how it affects the rather more genteel atmosphere of TMS remains to be seen. ·
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