SYDNEY - Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has offered an unusual half-apology after his final World Cup sledging of New Zealand, suggesting that liquid celebrations may have fuelled his frank comments during a radio interview.
The arch sledger had been at the forefront of big "send-offs" for Kiwi batsmen Martin Guptill and Grant Elliott as well as spinner Daniel Vettori after their key dismissals in Sunday's final in Melbourne, where Australia thrashed their traditional rivals.
The next day Haddin went on local radio and, asked about the send-offs, added a few more remarks.
"You know what? They deserved it," the wicketkeeper said.
"They were that nice to us in New Zealand (when Australia lost a pool match) and we were that uncomfortable. They were that nice to us the whole week.
"I said in the team meeting: 'I can't stand for this anymore. We're going at them as hard as we can.' "I said, 'I'm not playing cricket like this. If we get another crack at these guys in the final I'm letting everything (out). And I'm not going to play another one-day game so they can suspend me for as long as they like." But Haddin has since tempered his words and suggested the celebrations after winning the tournament might have had something to do with his comments.
"We were celebrating a World Cup win and enjoying ourselves after a long tournament," he said.
"In hindsight, we should have stayed off the radio. If I offended anyone, it was never my intention." Haddin's sober remarks stood in stark contrast to his earlier on-air descriptions of the party antics of coach Darren Lehmann and all-rounder James Faulkner among other players.
"I'll paint a picture for you now," Haddin said during the radio interview. "I've got a coach who's spooning the World Cup who can't speak.
"I've got James Faulkner who's got his clothes off but don't tell everyone.
"And I've got the Marsh boys, and you know I can't even talk about the Marsh boys because you know what trouble they have.
"I've got Josh Hazlewood ... he's never been drunk in 30 years. It's a problem. We just can't get him drunk. He's an absolute nightmare to drink with." Defeated New Zealand arrived home Tuesday after diplomatically playing down the send-offs.
"It wasn't really discussed within the group," said captain Brendon McCullum.
"Send-offs are send-offs. It's not something we necessarily are concerned about." "I think the focus should be on how well Australia played and how they deserved this victory rather than any minor issues." Australia won by a crushing seven wickets.