Bengaluru: Former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden has never shied away from expressing his love for India and throwing his weight behind the nation. 

After he went to Australia, he has again revealed the bonding he has shared with India. 

“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 told CNN News18. 

Not mincing words against those who tried besmirching the nation, he said, “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”. 

Earlier too, he had penned an emotional blog to pay homage to India. Here are a few excerpts:

“I have been visiting India for over a decade now and have travelled all over the country, especially Tamil Nadu which I consider my “spiritual home”. I have always had the highest respect for the leaders and public officials who are entrusted with the task of running such a diverse and vast country”.

“Wherever I went, the people greeted me with love and affection, for which I remain in their debt. I can proudly claim that I have seen India up close over the years and that is why my heart bleeds to see it not only in agony at the moment, but also for the bad press that has been hurled at it by those who I am not sure to spend any time here to understand India, its people, and their myriad challenges,” he wrote in a column for the Institute for Australia India Engagement, a think-tank based in Australia.

Further, sharing his opinion on the biased media coverage against India, Mathew Hayden wrote, “As a cricketer and lover of the game, I have maintained my association with the sport which has allowed me to come to India to cover the Indian Premier League (IPL). Many of my fellow countrymen have also been playing in the IPL for years. In this context, at a time when the world has been shutting doors on India and lambasting the Government, I thought of sharing my thoughts while in India, to give a perspective not available to those sitting thousands of miles away”.