Rift set to add spice to PM's XI clash
Brad Haddin runs into Chris Gayle during a recent BBL game. Photo: Brendan Esposito
There could be as many sledges as slogs in this month's Prime Minister's XI match in Canberra, with West Indies blaster Chris Gayle and Queanbeyan's Brad Haddin poised to reignite their feud at Manuka Oval.
Gayle insists he's already put Sunday's verbal stoush with Haddin behind him, and is instead focusing on regaining his form in a bid to guide the Sydney Thunder to an overdue Twenty20 victory in the Big Bash League.
But that claim could be put to the test on January 29, Gayle and Haddin both in line to contest the annual Prime Minister's XI match.
Haddin, who developed his game in Canberra, wants to play in the match so he can reunite with good mate and skipper Ricky Ponting before he retires.
Gayle is star of the West Indies, who will also be in Canberra for the one-day international against Australia on February 6.
The niggle between Gayle and Haddin was evident throughout last Sunday's BBL match, Gayle taunting Haddin until the former Australian wicketkeeper lost his cool with a rash shot and was caught off Gayle's bowling.
Gayle responded by pounding on his chest and performing a Gangnam-style dance, Haddin then offering his bat to the West Indies star who has scored just scored just 70 runs in five innings.
In a live television interview, Haddin questioned the value of Gayle, who is reportedly on a $250,000 contract with the Thunder this season.
''I just think it was important Chris Gayle started to do something for the Thunder fans, he's been all talk so far this tournament and they haven't won a game.
''It's disappointing to get out then, I was feeling pretty good but at least the Thunder fans have seen Chris Gayle do something for his money.''
Gayle responded with a tirade on Twitter, saying ''Not my fault he ain't good as I am even if I bat right hand''.
Gayle attempted to downplay the incident when questioned on Thursday.
''It's just one of those things and I've put it behind me,'' Gayle said.
''I try not to be too negative for those sort of things.
''He's done his part and I've said what I have to say as well. That's it, and that's history.''
The Thunder are already out of finals contention after losing their opening six games of the season.
Gayle said he was desperate to guide the Thunder to a win in Friday night's clash with the Perth Scorchers at the WACA.
The WACA is familiar territory for Gayle after playing two seasons of BBL for the Warriors.
Gayle said he had fond memories of his time in Perth, and hopes his return will spark him and the Thunder back into form.
''We all go through these things as cricketers. It's nothing to beat yourself up for or worry about,'' Gayle said. ''You've just got to keep pushing and keep that self-belief to get the job done.