Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden has dismissed James Anderson as "a B-grade bowler" and claimed he "got his a*** whipped by Australia" after the England paceman's account of a confrontation with Michael Clarke.
Anderson wrote in his autobiography how in a conversation with Australia's Damien Martyn in Adelaide during the 2006/07 Ashes, he described Clarke as arrogant and said he wanted to "wrap this pad around his head".
The Lancastrian claimed Martyn twice replied "Do it", so he then hit Clarke with the pad. Hayden, speaking to Australian radio station Triple M, laughed off the incident and proceeded to mock Anderson's ability.
"This has been a big incident, hasn't it?" he said.
"In reality, James Anderson (in those days) was a B-grade bowler that got his a*** whipped by Australia that many times it's not even funny.
"Frankly, I actually don't really care what Jimmy Anderson's got to say, but he has frankly improved his bowling, thank goodness."
Hayden admitted there had been a confrontational atmosphere during that Test series, in which England suffered a 5-0 whitewash.
"We'd been hammered over in England so I wasn't pulling my punches, nor was anyone else in that particular series," he said.
"You were either on board with Australia wanting to hand them the absolute whipping that they got, or you weren't."
- James Anderson
- Matthew Hayden