Shane Watson took aim at Pat Howard on Tuesday night, refuting the Cricket Australia performance boss's claim that he was only 'sometimes' a team player, and suggestions he had a troubled relationship with captain Michael Clarke.
After a three-leg 18-hour journey home Watson fronted an enormous media scrum before heading home to be with his heavily pregnant wife, Lee.
He said he 'hoped' his Test career was not over, accepted he did the wrong thing by not adhering to the coach's wishes and said of his relationship with Clarke: ''Everything's OK''.
It seemed clear that Howard was the target of his frustration.
''The way relationships work, there's always ups and downs like there is in marriages, friendships and everything,'' Watson said.
''I've been playing cricket with and against Michael Clarke since I was 12. We've got a lot of history as people. We're obviously quite different people in certain ways but very very similar in a lot of ways as well.
"In the end, like you do in every relationship, it goes up and down and things are going really well at the moment with me and Michael. With Pat Howard, he's only come on board the last year and a half. Myself and Michael go a little bit further back than a year and a half.''
Watson said he had spoken to Clarke straight after getting off the plane ''because he'd heard about the comments Pat made''.
On the question of his being a team player, Watson had another veiled shot at Howard.
''All I can really say is go around and ask every person I've ever played cricket with and that will give you the best indication of whether I'm a team man or not.
"Pat Howard doesn't particularly know me very well. He's come from a rugby background and hasn't been in and around cricket very long. I think the best people to ask are the people I've played cricket with and they'll be able to give their honest opinion.''
Asked, in conclusion, if he was disappointed with Howard's comments, Watson took a moment before saying, ''Yes.''
When asked if he accepted he'd done the wrong thing by not filling out the forms as asked, he had by not doing it ''at the exact time''.
''I, with a few other guys, took it as leading into the Test match and I got that extremely wrong, which meant that it's cost me a Test match,'' he said.
''They [the leadership group] obviously thought that was the right decision for the team at this point in time. I accept that I did the wrong thing with what I did, but I will always find it very hard to accept being suspended from a Test match for my country.
''I've missed Test matches and games through injury throughout my career. I feel like I've worked my absolute bum off to have an opportunity to represent my country.
"When that's taken away from you, you think the actions must be very severe. That's where we differ on our opinions. I think it's extremely harsh. I expressed my extreme disappointment with the punishment. But everything happens for a reason in your life.''
Watson said his only focus was the safe arrival of the couple's baby.
''It'll give me a chance to reflect on what's really happened over the past couple of days and be able to absorb what's happened and have a think about where things are at,'' he said.
- Sydney Morning Herald
Is cricket still NZ's top summer sport?Related story: Rain can't save Black Caps from big defeat