India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday hit back at Australian opener Matthew Hayden's 'third world' remark and said the Aussies are always slow in finishing their quota of overs, no matter which part of the world they play.
"The Australians have played all over the world and their over-rate has been slow all over the world," was Dhoni's sarcastic comment at the mandatory pre-match media conference before Sunday's second One-Day International against England in Rajkot.
Back home after the 2-0 defeat in the Test series against India, Hayden spoke about, what he perceived, poor ground conditions and inordinate delays during the matches "that happen in third world countries".
"They [opposition batsmen] are very difficult to get to face up," Hayden said. "Often we find ourselves with hands on hips waiting for someone to either face up or someone in the sight board to move away; all the little frustrations that happen in third world countries and the heat as well," he said.
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has already hit back at Hayden for his excuses for his team not maintaining the required over-rate at Nagpur which cost them dear at a crucial stage of the fourth and final Test when they could not use their frontline fast bowlers.
"This was a completely uncalled for remark by him. A player of his stature should not have made the comment," BCCI's Finance Committee Chairman Rajiv Shukla said.
"If slow-over rate is your habit, why blame India for that and call India third world? We are a very prestigious nation and it was not a nice comment by him," Shukla said.
Akram said the Aussies are "sore losers" and that Hayden should have known that India is now hundred years ahead of Australia "which is no more than a village".
"The thing about the Aussies is that they are sore losers. They get personal when they get beaten. It is all a matter of sour grapes and after going home, they've started calling India a third-world country," the former Pakistan captain said.