Matthew Hayden's retirement

'He changed the face of batting for ever'

Cricinfo staff

January 13, 2009

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Tributes for Matthew Hayden, who has announced his retirement


Kellie Hayden: "I'm really excited, it's going to be great. It's also sad, it's been a great journey. I'm glad he's made the decision" © Getty Images
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Steve Waugh, former Australia captain
The great thing about Matthew Hayden was that he redefined what an opening batsman was. He changed the face of Test-match batting for ever. His real legacy will be changing the way cricket was played. He always tried to dominate and went after the opening bowlers in the first session.

He was so good it was sometimes embarrassing to bat at the other end. Once, when he got a century on a difficult pitch in Johannesburg [in 2002], I told him: "Mate, you are so good this is embarrassing."

Shane Warne, former team-mate
He had an aura about him when he went out to bat. The thing that will be missed is his aura around the side with the young players in there now. It's another player gone that will be very hard to replace.

Stuart Clark, Australia fast bowler
I think he made the right decision. It is a shame though, he has been a great player for so long you just expected him to be the same forever. But we all get older and someone else comes along to take our place. If his replacement can do half the job he did they won't be bad players.

Ricky Ponting, Australia's captain
I don't think there's any doubt about that [he is Australia's greatest opener]. You can even look back through the history books of the game and try and see if there's ever been a better opening batsman in the game, let alone Australia.

The thing that defines him best is leading into the last World Cup, when his position in the side was under a bit of pressure. He took it upon himself to reinvent his game, at 33 or 34, to take that time to sit back to work out a game and strategy that was going to work for him. He put that into place for months and months, to get him right, then he was one of the great players of the World Cup. No matter what he'd done, or how well he'd played, he was always working on ways to become better and to make the team better.

Glenn McGrath, former Australia fast bowler
It's been an absolute honour and a privilege to play with him and even more so to call him a mate. And to me Matty is a legend of the game; he's got nothing left to prove. His career stands alone. He's an amazing person and an amazing player, I was just very lucky to be a part of it. Every time I walk out on the field, I'd have him in every team I've played in so, if that's the decision he makes I can only wish him all the best. Hopefully now we'll be able to spend a bit more time together off the field.

Adam Gilchrist, former Australia wicketkeeper
He was an inspirational player who possessed extraordinary mental strength. His greatest asset was his belief and faith in himself, coupled with an amazing work ethic. Whenever someone told him he couldn't achieve something he just became more determined to prove them wrong. He was a brilliant opening batsman who I loved representing this country with.

Jason Gillespie, former Australia fast bowler
He intimidated opposition fast bowlers; they might deny it, but he did. I'm sure a few of them thought about wearing a helmet when they were bowling to him. I did. He was like Viv Richards, the way he'd stand there chewing the gum and taking them on. As a team-mate it gave you a massive lift to know you could sit in the dressing-rooms with a cup of tea and watch him and Langer do the work.

Kellie Hayden, Matthew Hayden's wife
I'm really excited, it's going to be great. It's also sad, it's been a great journey. I'm glad he's made the decision.

Damien Mullins, chairman of Queensland Cricket
He is truly one of the legends of Queensland sport. In Sheffield Shield cricket, only Sir Donald Bradman scored more runs in fewer matches than Hayden.

David Boon, Australian selector
He was very strong and very proud and he had his way of motivating and encouraging others to respect the baggy green cap and to respect what it represented.

Jack Clarke, Cricket Australia's chairman
Matthew was one of the greatest ever players to pull on the baggy green. To open the batting with an average over 50 in 103 Test matches puts him among the all-time greats of the game. Matthew was an integral part of the most successful era in Australian cricket history. It would be an interesting task if the Team of the Century was to be selected today to rate Matthew against Bill Ponsford and Arthur Morris.

Greg Chappell, former Australia captain
It's a career he can be rightfully proud of, he's achieved a lot. After early setbacks he went away and rethought his game and philosophy on batting and he came back an aggressive, positive player. He intimidated bowlers, he was reminiscent to me of someone like Gordon Greenidge. He did very much the same, he monstered bowlers and really changed the momentum of the game.

Along with Warne, McGrath and Gilchrist he was one of the most important players of that era and that success that Australia enjoyed. I think his record places him among the best players we've had through our history, he's certainly one of the most dominant opening batsmen we've had.

Mark Waugh, former Australia batsman
He was a tough player and mentally very strong. He had his own game and he wasn't too concerned about what other people thought of it but in the end it worked for him. He played over 100 Test matches for Australia after waiting a very long time to get in there initially, so not only physically a big effort to play 100 Tests but mentally to come back from challenges, especially early on in his career.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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