Ashes 2013: Brad Haddin insists there is 'no feud' between Michael Clarke and Shane Watson
Former coach Mickey Arthur claims there is unrest in the camp
Wednesday 17 July 2013
Michael Clarke's Australia team-mate Brad Haddin insists there is “no feud” between the captain and senior all-rounder Shane Watson as the ghost of sacked coach Mickey Arthur threatened to derail their Ashes campaign.
Arthur's claim that Clarke and Watson are at loggerheads, which emerged as the South African pursues a racial discrimination claim against Cricket Australia, was described as "white noise" by Haddin.
The timing of Arthur's statement, in legal documents quoted in the Australian media, could hardly be much worse as Clarke's side prepare for the start of the second Investec Test at Lord's tomorrow.
Haddin, who took them so close to a surprise opening victory at Trent Bridge on Sunday only to be caught-behind via DRS as they lost in the end by a mere 14 runs, is confident Australia's Ashes prospects will not be adversely affected.
After Arthur's claims were published yesterday, Cricket Australia lawyer Dean Kino said: "We're disappointed that it's come to this position."
Clarke had a public engagement too in London yesterday, at which he was unsurprisingly loath to discuss the matter and would only say his team "are very focused on what is in front of us".
Haddin was also tight-lipped at his Lord's press conference, but a little more forthcoming.
"The Ashes is as good as it gets - all the other stuff is white noise," he said.
"It has not affected the side.
"The Australian dressing room is fine. There is no feud."
Haddin insists there have been no problems inside the camp at all, during a tour which has so far seen opening batsman David Warner suspended for punching England batsman Joe Root in a Birmingham bar after defeat in the Champions Trophy, then Arthur sacked and Darren Lehmann brought in to replace him.
"The group has been fine since day one of the tour," he said.
"We're all hurt from losing the (first) Test.
"It hasn't driven us closer together - it has made us determined to win a Test."
Meanwhile, a statement released on behalf of Arthur and Harmers Workplace Lawyers confirmed proceedings had been filed against his former employers "on a number of grounds" including "racial discrimination".
Arthur also stressed details of the documents which appeared in the Australian media had not been released by him.
"I am extremely upset and disappointed that confidential documents appear to have been given by others to the media," Arthur said.
"The matters raised in my application to the FWC (Fair Work Commission) concerning issues within the Australian cricket team are very sensitive, which is why I was at pains to keep them confidential, especially at this time.
"I have kept them confidential, unfortunately others have now made them public."
The statement also said a "confidential conciliation" would take place between the parties next week.
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