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Throwing Stones With Limited Understanding: Matthew Hayden Slams Critics of India's Covid-19 Response

Matthew Hayden (Pic Credit: Instagram)

Matthew Hayden (Pic Credit: Instagram)

Matthew Hayden has opened up to CNN-News18 on what prompted him to pour his heart out in a note for covid-stricken India.

Australia batting legend Matthew Hayden recently penned an emotional note for India that is currently battling a deadly second wave of coronavirus pandemic. Opening up on what prompted him to pour his heart out, Hayden said he feels a special connection with India which has taught him many lessons over the years.

In his blog, Hayden had urged the world media to not pass any judgement without understanding the challenges that come with the successful implementation of any public scheme in a country that has a billion-plus population.

Hayden, who has been India on several occasions when representing Australia as a player and even now in the capacity of a commentator, says he feels a special connection with the people of this country.

“I just felt sympathetic to a country that has personally given me so many lessons more than anything," Hayden told CNN-News18 in an exclusive interview. “I have often described to people all over the world that whenever I am in India, there’s this special connection that I have with the broader community of people, not just cricket lovers but people right across (India) that have this vibrancy and this life and commitment to excellence."

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“Coming from that place, I felt so upset and also frustrated. Some of the challenges that India were facing (compared to other countries)," he added.

Hayden was struck by the ‘sudden, eerie silence’ that a country bustling with humanity had come as a response to coronavirus and hopes things will change for good soon.

“All this life of of just extreme intensity of humanity and then all of a sudden an eerie silence in response to covid and I also had an extraordinary respect (as to) the people were listening. It was just an opportunity for me to just to pen down what I was thinking and feeling at the time and hoping it would shift in a positive direction," the 49-year-old said.

Hayden also took a shot at those being critical of how India has handled the pandemic saying without having an understanding to the complexities, people were passing judgement and he felt very strongly about it.

“India is a comprehensive society with so many layers to it, Language, religion, different foods even. Simply just throwing stones with limited understanding, I felt very strongly about it. But I also understand that coming from this side of the fence that it is very difficult to understand until you have seen and I just feel privileged to have been in India as a traveler and as a brother and sister for almost three decades. I have a privileged position on that," he said.

He continued, “It’s amazing how words can be weapon but can be positive as well. We as a community are linked through our consciousness and our ability to process that how we will be able to live in a new normal world of covid. One of the great and powerful words is empathy."

He also talked about the connection between India and Australia that goes well beyond their shared love of cricket. “As Australians, we are very much brothers and sisters of India. We have 7,00,000 families living in Australia. I believe we have delivered somewhere close to 15 tonnes of medical supplies to India, 3,000 ventilators and a hundred Oxygen ventilators. There is a fantastic linkage. It started with our common ground for the love of cricket but it goes well beyond that. Hopefully my words were helping," he said.

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first published:May 21, 2021, 07:52 IST