Haddin denies Aussie feud ahead of second Ashes Test

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Michael Clarke’s Australia team-mate Brad Haddin insists there is “no feud” between the captain and senior all-rounder Shane Watson as the ghost of sacked coach Mickey Arthur threatened to derail their Ashes campaign.

Arthur’s claim that Clarke and Watson are at loggerheads, which emerged as the South African pursues a racial discrimination claim against Cricket Australia, was described as “white noise” by Haddin.

The timing of Arthur’s statement, in legal documents quoted in the Australian media, could hardly be much worse as Clarke’s side prepare for the start of the second Investec Test at Lord’s tomorrow.

Haddin, who took them so close to a surprise opening victory at Trent Bridge on Sunday only to be caught-behind via DRS as they lost in the end by a mere 14 runs, is confident Australia’s Ashes prospects will not be adversely affected.

After Arthur’s claims were published yesterday, Cricket Australia lawyer Dean Kino said: “We’re disappointed that it’s come to this position.”

Clarke had a public engagement too in London yesterday, at which he was loath to discuss the matter and would only say his team “are very focused on what is in front of us”.

Haddin was also tight-lipped at his Lord’s press conference, but a little more forthcoming.

“The Ashes is as good as it gets – all the other stuff is white noise,” he said.

“It has not affected the side.The Australian dressing room is fine. There is no feud.”