Haddin, Gayle on collision course
Chris Gayle of the Thunder and Brad Haddin of the Sixers share a laugh during a Big Bash match. Photo: Mark Kolbe
TEST off-spinner Nathan Lyon is in no doubt what corner he'll be in for Haddin v Gayle II, but the main combatants are eager to put their Big Bash League stoush to bed ahead of their much-anticipated rematch.
Veteran Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin will lock horns with master blaster Chris Gayle for the first time since last month's on-field and Twitter feud in Tuesday's Prime Minister's XI one-day match with the West Indies at Manuka Oval.
Both Haddin and Gayle are doing their best to distance themselves from the conjecture, which stemmed from a fiery confrontation in the Sydney BBL derby last month.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her partner Tim Mathieson with West Indies captain Darren Sammy and PM's XI vice-captain Brad Haddin. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Gayle declined to be interviewed on Monday if he was asked about Haddin, who was just as dismissive when quizzed on the incident.
''I think it'll be all good,'' Haddin said. ''That was about a month ago and we're here to celebrate the Prime Minister's XI. That's not in my thoughts any more.''
Lyon, who was back where his cricket career started in Canberra for a few days rest before the Test series in India, believed Haddin would come out on top if the sparks flew.
Chris Gayle trains at the Manuka nets. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
''They're both great competitors … I'm definitely putting my money on Brad Haddin, that's for sure,'' Lyon said.
After a miserable series with the bat for the Sydney Thunder, Gayle celebrated loudly when he claimed Haddin's wicket in the match with the Sydney Sixers, beating his chest and breaking into his trademark Gangnam Style dance.
Haddin shook his head as he left the ground before the Sixers captain vented his anger to Fox Sports.
''He's been all talk so far this tournament and they haven't won a game,'' Haddin said at the time.
''At least Thunder fans have seen Chris Gayle do something for his money.''
Gayle responded on Twitter, claiming he could bat better than Haddin with his non-preferred right hand.
The 33-year-old, renowned as one of the most destructive batsmen in world cricket, hinted earlier this month he had a score to settle with Haddin.
''We'll see him in the future and maybe in international cricket we might meet again,'' Gayle said. ''We'll see what happens then.''
While Gayle struggled for runs with the Thunder, scoring just one half-century during his lucrative stint, he regained form in the West Indian domestic competition ahead of the five-match ODI series with Australia, starting on Friday.
Haddin could yet earn an international recall after filling in admirably for Matthew Wade in the first two games of the drawn series with Sri Lanka, the Queanbeyan product making a half-century in the second match at Adelaide Oval.
His fighting qualities are certain to be on display in the rematch with Gayle, with West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, who played alongside Haddin at the Sixers, confident the issue is well and truly in the past.
''Whatever blows up in the media mustn't be taken to heart,'' Bravo said.
''Chris is a very easy going guy and Haddin is a lovely guy also. They will both put it behind them and enjoy the game.''