Monday, December 25, 2006

The Hadlee post

In my last job, I spent a fair bit of time interviewing Kiwi legend Richard Hadlee.

His name came to mind this week with the massive MCG Test upon us. The notorious Bay 13 at the "G" used to put the wind up Hadlee no end and the taunt "Hadlee's a wanker" was heard everytime New Zealand played there. Greg Chappell once told Hadlee that to be called a wanker was, in fact, a mark of respect! So it was with classic Aussie irony when Hadlee was asked to bulldoze Bay 13 in 1992 when the ground underwent renovation; after all he probably did save his best performances playing Australia.

Hadlee also has some memorable quips involving Aussies. He once received a letter from an inmate in Auckland jail asking for some memorabilia. He wrote that it was difficult to get to the grounds at weekends because they preferred to keep him in on both days. Hadlee then said the letter finished: "P.S. If it helps, the house I burgled was owned by an Australian."

Another Hadlee anecdote involved a lady who went up to the Kiwi a couple of times during an autograph session. "Haven't I seen you before?" said Hadlee. She said: " Yes, but when I get 10 of yours I can swap it for one Dean Jones."