Hadlee passes Chappell~~s advice to Monty

Published: Thursday, September 21, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney: ''Just settle down'' was Greg Chappell's advice to New Zealand pace great Sir Richard Hadlee when taunts of the crowd got the better of him in the 80's and the legendary Kiwi says this is exactly what England spinner Monty Panesar needs to do when confronted with abusive spectators during the upcoming Ashes series.

''Basically he said 'just settle down'. Those comments became a tower of strength to me,'' Sir Hadlee told the 'Courier Mail' recalling Chappell's advice.

Monty, expecting ''worse than the worst'' time with the crowds Down Under is having counselling sessions with a psychologist to prepare for the ordeal and Sir Hadlee said the spinner would need to toughen up mentally to cope with the problem.

Recalling his own initial playing days, Sir Hadlee said as a youngster he ''overreacted'' to crowd's taunts and he learnt to take things sportingly only after being advised by Chappell.

''Greg took me aside and said I was over-reacting to the crowds and if you antagonise them or show them they are getting to you it will only get worse,'' he said.

''In the early days as a young puppy I overreacted. Greg said forget about the distractions and do your talking with the ball and at the end of the day there were more Test wickets for me against Australia than any other nation. I think it worked out pretty well,'' he added.

Sir Hadlee said he could understand the reasons of Monty turning to a psychologist to deal with the problem as it was not easy to remain unaffected in face of spectator abuse.

''It's a question of how you deal with it. It is easy to say ignore it and that's the right advice but it is difficult to do when it's in your face,'' he said.

''I can understand why Panesar would seek a psychologist. I would have used one if they had been travelling with the team when I was around,'' he added.

The Kiwi great said the current Team India coach's advice put things in perspective for him and he learnt to be patient with the spectators and take the abuse sportingly.

''It was a very difficult time for me around 1980-81 but after that it was payback. He said the only thing I had to remember was that if they had a go at you they rated you and at the end of the day it was a compliment,'' he said.

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