Gilchrist defends Hayden says team thinks world of him

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Melbourne, Feb 28 (UNI) Australia's retiring wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist today backed his teammate Matthew Hayden against comments that the opener is an unpopular character in international cricket and said the team has a lot of respect for him.

''I've not ever cared to think what other teams think of Matthew Hayden,'' Gilchrist said to mediapersons.

''He's one of the most well-respected people in our team, so that's all that interests me.

''When you start to play on emotion, that's when you don't play well,'' Gilchrist said adding ''You've got to play on skill.'' Hayden was reprimanded yesterday after Cricket Australia (CA) charged him with breaching its code of conduct as he referred Harbhajan Singh as an ''obnoxious weed''.

The 36-year-old opener added that he would prefer that the off-field controversies should take a back seat and the focus should be on cricket.

''I'm just trying to get on with the finals and play some cricket. I can't speak on behalf of everyone, particularly on their team, and I haven't spoken to our guys about it, but I'm sure everyone is just keen to let cricket get on.

''There's been a lot on, a lot of issues, I haven't played in too many summers where ... There's been any number of issues you could bring to mind.

''I'm sure everyone is just keen to let cricket get on.

There's been a lot on, a lot of issues. It's been tough work for everybody,'' he added.

Australia and India will take on each other in the best-of-three CB series' finals that gets underway on Sunday.

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