Australia news

Hayden moves from pitch back to boardroom

Daniel Brettig

September 20, 2012

Comments: 80 | Text size: A | A

Matthew Hayden lines up a big shot, Brisbane Heat v Hobart Hurricanes, BBL 2011-12, Brisbane, January 6, 2012
Matthew Hayden: "I will be pursuing my initial intention and agreement with the Heat of moving from the pitch to the boardroom." © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Matthew Hayden
Series/Tournaments: Big Bash League
Teams: Australia

Matthew Hayden's retirement from professional cricket after one season with the Brisbane Heat in the BBL was no surprise, for he had flagged the strong possibility himself last summer.

"I don't think I'll play again next year...this will be it for me," Hayden had said in December. "There's just so much happening in my life, you can never wind back the clock...I'm a father of three firstly and I have a lot of work to do off the field."

After a holiday at the end of the season, 40-year-old Hayden wrestled with the decision a little more, but it was always likely that his interest in the Heat would move from that of a player to a board member and potential financial stakeholder after the BBL made a successful start in the 2011-12 season.

Hayden's business, The Hayden Way, had flagged interest in becoming a partner in ownership of the Heat last year, before Cricket Australia froze its private ownership plans. Hayden is now set to remain closely linked to the Heat via spot on the team's board, with the possibility of taking up a stake in the team should CA again open the doors to private investors.

"This marks the closing of the book in terms of playing, it wasn't a very easy decision I must admit," Hayden said in Brisbane. "[The Heat coach] Darren Lehmann created a really fun environment to go out and play cricket. It is hard as an athlete to leave your comfort zones and leave something you love as much as I did.

"But every dog has their day and certainly I perhaps wasn't at my best last season, but I definitely was the best I could be, and that was something I was proud of for 20 years."

Hayden had played for IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings in the year following his international retirement, the 2010 Champions League being his last stint with them. He then came out of retirement to play for the Brisbane Heat in last year's inaugural tournament, giving up his responsibilities as a board member of Cricket Australia and Queensland Cricket in order to play again.

While reiterating his support for T20 competitions, Hayden also stated his distaste for much of the international schedule, citing the ICC Champions Trophy as an example of the flotsam and jetsam floating through an increasingly crowded calendar. He also hinted at his support for a World Test Championship, a concept that has been placed on hold until at least 2017 by the game's governors.

"Forever more now the landscape is challenged by the quantity of cricket," Hayden said. "You just as a fan follow different tournaments around the world with great difficulty. There's a consistent lack of focus and direction on some of the major tournaments. There's the World Cup naturally...2015 is going to be a significant year for Australian cricket and New Zealand cricket, but there's other tournaments like the Champions Trophy for example that hold little or no relevance in the context of cricket and the landscape.

"It is hard to make those decisions, and there's lots of angles from which administrators look at those decisions, no more so than commercial aspects of the game. For the fan there's definitely too much cricket, for the player there's definitely not enough relevance to the forms of the game you play. And some of the longer versions of the game as well need some refining and some parameters put around them to make every game as important genuinely as the last one you played.

"If we do get that mix right...we've now got our little brother in T20 cricket who is now really rising up and establishing a connection with fans, and ultimately that's what the game's about."

One area Hayden was more positive about was the effect of club T20 competitions on the options open to professional cricketers. Kevin Pietersen's run-ins with the ECB and his England team-mates over the IPL have been a very public example of this, but Hayden said the emergence of greater choice was constructive.

"Players haven't ever had the opportunity to be challenged in terms of who actually contracts them," he said. "Now you do have the opportunity to play for the Brisbane Heat, for the Chennai Super Kings, for your country or in Kevin's case his previous country as well. There's so much range and it's a good thing for the athlete, because it hones their skill. Someone like Ricky Ponting will say frankly 'I'm relatively uninterested in T20 cricket, but Test cricket is where I really want to be'. Michael Clarke's had a similar view. I think that's great because it does allow athletes a broader range of opportunity."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (September 23, 2012, 3:31 GMT)

A bully with bat in hand, and with his mouth to opposition players. Phenomenal record and part of a champion team. Claimed his Christianity openly, but the other hand was very free with his verbal abuse on the field. Hope the kids who watched you play learn from your batsmanship and not your on-field attitude. Have fun in retirement Matty

Posted by Mikecricket on (September 22, 2012, 23:29 GMT)

What a legend! you made us all proud Haydos!!

Posted by ak_dragon on (September 22, 2012, 1:51 GMT)

Mighty HAYDEN....Best of Luck....n Thanks for all your tremendous innings...!

Posted by Meety on (September 21, 2012, 20:56 GMT)

@YankyHammond on (September 21 2012, 04:52 AM GMT) - LOL! You call my comment comedy, yet you claim England to be the best cricket nation of all time, which clearly is NOT the case! This does not suggest much cricket intelligence. I have on several occassions proven you wrong on those types of matters, without any response from yourself which speaks volumes!

Posted by Chris_P on (September 21, 2012, 12:56 GMT)

@Hammond. You could well know more than Meety or me (although I would back myself) but your statements mostly show your judgment in a very poor light. Balanced posts are not your strong point, hence the lingering doubts about your knowledge base. There is nothing wrong with contructive discussion you know, do yourself a favour and show yourself in a good light.

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (September 21, 2012, 6:05 GMT)

@mikey76-'similar in a lot of ways to Trescothick'-You're kidding me aren't you.What makes you think Trescothick merits to mentioned in the same sentence as Big Matt, let alone any talk of comparisons(No disrespect to Tresco-a really good opening bat in all forms for Eng and one of their best openers with a pretty good record.)But you don't compare people with such vast difference in pedigree, it actually makes Tresco look like a club cricketer,nothing less which he is much better than as you would know....

Posted by Hammond on (September 21, 2012, 4:52 GMT)

@Meety- more comedy. I 100% guarantee that I know a lot more about cricket than you do, from the way that Ponsfords hat tilted further on his head the longer his innings progressed, to the names of the net bowlers that Prince Ranjitsinghji hired. I've forgotten more about cricket than most people actually know. And I am Australian. Simple.

Posted by   on (September 21, 2012, 4:39 GMT)

he is a true legend!!!! he really deserves a lot of respect!!!

Posted by Meety on (September 21, 2012, 1:46 GMT)

@OzzyHammond on (September 20 2012, 09:25 AM GMT) - now admit I am wrong about you. You're not a Pom, you are a YANK! Nobody other than an American could possibly be so oblivious to cricket. So who do you follow in the Big League - the Red Sox?????

Posted by Chris_P on (September 21, 2012, 0:01 GMT)

Let's hope he can carry over some of his forward thinking to the organizing committees overseeing our game. I also think a step towards the ICC would benefit all cricketers if he felt so inclined, a man who really cares and loves the game. I will follow his next stage of his career with interest.

Posted by mikey76 on (September 20, 2012, 23:05 GMT)

Getting on top of him was the probably the main reason we won the 2005 ashes. Always slightly clumsy against the swinging ball, he was never the less an outstanding player, similar in a lot of ways to Trescothick. Big heavy bat, minimal foot movement and very intimidating to opposition bowlers. Definitely in the Aussie all time XI.

Posted by RoJayao on (September 20, 2012, 23:04 GMT)

Rubbish Alkais. Hayden never faced Akram, Waqar only once and Ambrose in just three games. In five innings against Ambrose, Walsh and Bishop, Hayden scored his first century and 2nd innings top scored with 47 in Perth on the worst pitch I've ever seen. Not too bad for just his 3rd and 4th tests. He struggled in South Africa afterwards but in three games never got out to Allan Donald. He didn't play again for three years. In 00/01 against the Windies, Hayden was moderately successful against over the hill Walsh and Bishop, scoring two 50's and a 44 in his first three innings before declining thereafter. But he was run out in two of those innings when well established and centuries there for the taking which may have changed his series for the better. It was not Hayden's fault that fast bowling around the world declined in the 2000's, and he was certainly not the only one to benefit either was he?! There are rather a lot of grateful Indian and Sri Lankan batsmen with inflated averages!

Posted by the_blue_android on (September 20, 2012, 17:44 GMT)

A real power hitter who makes Sehwag look like a grade cricketer. Hayden performed on every type of surface where as our no-power hitter Sehwag plays well only on belters that too against weak bowling attacks!

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (September 20, 2012, 16:17 GMT)

Even though i thought this happened in 2008 or something, Mathew Hayden, in all honesty, would be one of my openers in my all time world XI

Posted by Unmesh_cric on (September 20, 2012, 15:58 GMT)

One of the key performers in that golden era of Australian cricket. He was an intimidating batsman and one of the rare breeds (among Australian batsmen) who played spin bowling in a dominating manner. I think he also played a part in the success of IPL. I remember his Mongoos bat with a very long handle. All the best, Mr. Hayden!

Posted by hercules-D-gr8 on (September 20, 2012, 15:02 GMT)


Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 14:32 GMT)

Thank you hayden you truely were one of a kind.

Posted by Alkais on (September 20, 2012, 14:14 GMT)

One should rate him based on his performance before against fastbowlers like Ambrose,Walsh and Bishop, Waqar,Wasim during their peaks and performances after these bowlers retired. I still remember watching him bat against these bowlers. He was really struggling against these bowlers in Australian Conditions. And he came back after 3 yrs. There was no bowlers as good as Walsh,Ambrose, Waqar,Bishop. He was facing less quality bowlers. He might have played 100+ tests, but terming him as one of the great will be undermining the performances of other great players against good fastbowlers on pitches which were also helping bowlers. He has played some good innings. But he cannot be considered as a great player. The way he struggled against Ambrose and Walsh is sure enough to tell, he doesnt fit in the list of great batsman.

Posted by Rohanbandekar on (September 20, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

One of my favourite cricketers. Such a devastating batsman.

Posted by pranay_bangalore on (September 20, 2012, 13:13 GMT)

Definitely in the top five list of the batsman ,whom i feared the most. The sight of him literally walking down the pitch ,can only compared with how a tenth grade student plays against the bowling of a second grade pupil....His shots are blitzkrieg to say the least...His wide chest generates huge amount of power into his pull shots..great bloke

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (September 20, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

Nooo,why retire now when he can at this age even make some of the 'class' openers in Test cricket look mediocre-like Eng,Ind even Aus except SA.Scary thought what sort of a beast he was in his prime just a few years back,ai'nt it?

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

good luck mate!!!!you were simply superb!

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 11:42 GMT)

Thanks for all the GREAT moments . Good luck in the board room with all the new youngsters . MH , we will miss you .

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 11:40 GMT)

HE IS A GREAT PLAYER IN THE HISTORY OF CRICKET ......................................................................

Posted by Sinhabahu on (September 20, 2012, 11:29 GMT)

What a beast this guy was back in the day.

Posted by Marcio on (September 20, 2012, 10:52 GMT)

@Hammond, you consider Hayden a bad sportsman and an embarrassment to Australia. As a matter of interest, how do you think your own comments on this site would rank in terms of being "sporting"? "Sporting means being even-tempered, fair, and respectful of others, just in case you are unaware of the definition.

Posted by _Australian_ on (September 20, 2012, 10:51 GMT)

@Hammond. The only one who is a big loudmouth is actually an embarrasment to England. As a supporter anyway.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 10:00 GMT)

One of most dangerous batsmen in the world. Very hard hitting and strongly built player........hitting longest sixes was very easy for him......really relax time for the bowlers now. Wishing him all the best for further.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 9:32 GMT)

Great cricketer. Must have been a scary guy to bowl too - at times he seemed invincible. Don't know how much hair I tore out because of the runs he scored against the Proteas :) - often at crucial times. I wish him the best.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 9:29 GMT)

He retired in 2009..why retire again?. He was a good batsman but not a good sportsman.

Posted by Hammond on (September 20, 2012, 9:25 GMT)

Almost as big an embarrassment to Australian cricket as Ponting. Big mouth and found out Technically against England. See ya mate, wouldn't want to be ya.

Posted by Alisunich on (September 20, 2012, 9:21 GMT)

One of the most dangerous opening batsman in world cricket. Bye Hayden, cricket will miss you

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 9:13 GMT)

saeed anwar and hayden were best in business,best of luck for d future

Posted by NFaiq on (September 20, 2012, 9:11 GMT)

Just Look @ His Averages in Any Formats!! Simply One Of The Best Cricketers of All Time... an End Of an Era!! Many Wishes From Srilankans!!

Posted by mtalhas on (September 20, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

its a reminder that aussies are gowing down along the retirement of these greats

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 8:46 GMT)

Hope, he is as entertaining in his future life. I wish all success.

Posted by mohsan87 on (September 20, 2012, 8:27 GMT)

oh goog end look his t20 avarage in international

Posted by BigMachine on (September 20, 2012, 8:19 GMT)

As an England fan, I'm not to prud to admit that I'm glad to finally see the back of him! A fantastic competitor.

Posted by colombo_SL on (September 20, 2012, 8:12 GMT)

Great Cricketer! Headache when he was on his peak. Feel sorry about your retirement.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 8:06 GMT)

A very good cricketer retires. All the very best Hayden.

Posted by stFleming on (September 20, 2012, 8:00 GMT)

I think Hayden took the right decision....He had now nothing left in him...His form got worsened...His reflexes slowed down...His performance was nothing now...He should have retired an year before..Even though he was a champion batsman....One of the toughest opponent to bowl to...Aussie Legend...Good luck for future....

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 7:31 GMT)

As I am Indian, I ranked you as number one player in my heart beside sachin, lara, pontine. As I watching cricket. you are the one Perfectionist cricketer. Who knows, you dont have chance to serve the cricket for more number of years as Sachin or ponting had in their lifetime. If you had that, Hayden. Your name will be in ahead of all the records beside the Sachin and ponting.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 7:26 GMT)

and end of a chapter in cricketing history , hayden was a master class

Posted by sharidas on (September 20, 2012, 7:21 GMT)

I would just say....It was always a pleasure to watch him batting !

Posted by Seether1 on (September 20, 2012, 7:17 GMT)

Flat track bully and he displayed a complete lack of sportmanship.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 6:40 GMT)

Another aussie moves out

Posted by afs_talyarkhan on (September 20, 2012, 6:39 GMT)

Some respect please - for a great player who has now called it a day. Thank you.

Posted by Joby_George on (September 20, 2012, 6:36 GMT)

The best batsman (who suits all 3 format) of modern cricket. You are a hero hayden.

Posted by fernandotorres on (September 20, 2012, 6:33 GMT)

Bye bye Haydos!! All the best for the future!

Posted by naveenpnayak on (September 20, 2012, 6:28 GMT)

He is the GOD of CRICKET.. Feel very bad for not having the privilege to see him again on the field. His contribution for CA has been immense. Miss You HAYDO !! I supported Brisbane Heat just bcoz you were in that team... But I surely like to see you as a coach, helping Australia get better.

Posted by 512fm on (September 20, 2012, 6:22 GMT)

Retiring from domestic T20 should not be news.

Posted by zenboomerang on (September 20, 2012, 6:11 GMT)

@SamRoy... Yes you are right - the IPL is just recreational cricket without any decent players playing (sarcasm)... lol...

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 6:09 GMT)

Great Legend.. Will miss him always.. Love from Pakistan :)

Posted by featurewriter on (September 20, 2012, 6:03 GMT)

mumerashfaq: Are you serious? He averaged 30 in the Big Bash League and had a strike-rate of more than 130. He got a start in every innings bar one. (And his international record is peerless.) What is "good form" in your books mate? I purchased season tickets this year with because I wanted to see Haydos play again. A little disappointed that the announcement couldn't have been made earlier. Shattered that I won't be able to watch Australia's greatest-ever opening batsman bludgeon opening bowlers. Thanks for the memories Haydos.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 5:59 GMT)

Nonchalant executioner on a cricket pitch !

Posted by tfjones1978 on (September 20, 2012, 5:52 GMT)

Hayden resigned from international cricket the year after the rest of the greats from the Steve Waugh / Ricky Ponting era did. However Hayden (like the others) continued to play domestic cricket in one form or another. However most of those greats are even retiring from domestic cricket now. One of the few is in the Australian T20I squad, whom made a come back after about 3 years retirement from international cricket.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

Just how many more times are we going to get Hayden changing his mind? In 2005 he 'retired', 2006 he came back for 'one more series'; 2007 he 'retired'; 2008 he signed for the Heat; 2009 he came back to play IPL; 2010 he played his 'final Ashes'; 2011 he left to 'spend more time with his family' and now he is retiring again!

Posted by Titumir on (September 20, 2012, 5:43 GMT)

tendulkar--are you listening? hayden, gilchrist, warne retired at the peak of their form and in their last match--they got even mom award. when u will retire? i can see poor rohit, unmukh chad, monoj are looking at sky and praying for ur retirement

Posted by Mervo on (September 20, 2012, 5:43 GMT)

He is one of the all time great opening batsmen. He always gave his very best and was kept out of the Australian team for 3-4 years by 'politics' that suggested that a right-hander opener .... was needed. 30 Test Centuries in a 100 Tests at an average of over 50, is pretty amazing for an opening batsman. Virender Sewag in comparison from 98 tests has only 22 centuries. And the reason for this story - he even gave up his place on the CA board to support the Big bash development here. Thanks Matty!

Posted by Liquefierrrr on (September 20, 2012, 5:41 GMT)

@SamRoy - this isn't recreational cricket, it is domestic t20 cricket, and holds as much weight and rank as the IPL, SLPL or English domestic t20 cricket.

A champion player like Hayden retiring from any form of cricket, be it international or domestic, is fairly sizeable news, and in addition to that this story is also to document his movement from player to administrator.

And finally, I don't believe the story is being sold as 'significant news', it is merely a story designed to clarify his intentions and add finalisation to his career as a player, which he definitely deserves and has earned.

Sad to see you go Haydos, been a pleasure to watch you all these years. May you dominate as an official as much as you did as a player.

Posted by KirGop on (September 20, 2012, 5:26 GMT)

A muscle player who pummelled opposition to submission. He had a great part in the aussie dominance era. This 2001 india test series and 385 against minnows come to mind. When he fired, aussies fired.

Posted by sherishahmir on (September 20, 2012, 5:21 GMT)

One of the best player of all time best Australian side, good luck Mathew in time to come.

Posted by Lancer1990 on (September 20, 2012, 5:11 GMT)

Ron Rahman.. No! That was Shahid Afridi. You're mistaken.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 5:08 GMT)

One of the all time Greats !!!Better than majority of Indian Batsmen Who are not able to decide for their retirement.

Posted by bobagorof on (September 20, 2012, 5:02 GMT)

To imply he's retired from ALL cricket is disingenuous. He had a few games for the Heat last summer (in which he didn't perform very well, if I recall correctly), but had actually retired a few years ago. His participation in 2011/2012 was a promotion for his company 'The Hayden Way' more than anything else.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 4:48 GMT)

Miss you... hayden. i love this guy

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 4:46 GMT)

A great cricketer and a great batsman. I enjoyed watching him. I think the decision to experiment with the special bad during 2010 IPL might have made him lose form and retire early. I think he was in great form before deciding to use that special bat.

Posted by singhinderjit95 on (September 20, 2012, 4:38 GMT)

still better than warner and watson combined

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (September 20, 2012, 4:22 GMT)

great player and legend of cricket. fun to watch

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 4:21 GMT)

how many times does he wanna retire???? ahhhhhhhhhhhhh

Posted by straight_drive4 on (September 20, 2012, 4:14 GMT)

legend of the game. dominated bowlers by walking down the wicket at them

Posted by Sakthiivel on (September 20, 2012, 4:06 GMT)

Hayden the legend. He is Always a Super king.

Posted by ajayrcs on (September 20, 2012, 3:53 GMT)

He was just a part of Champion team but wasn't the best. Ricky ponting is the Champion who made the team World Champ.

Posted by JunaidRao on (September 20, 2012, 3:52 GMT)

Good Luck to Matthew Hayden in the rest of the future. My Favorite player.

Posted by zorrotsongo on (September 20, 2012, 3:45 GMT)

Haydo! you are great. You can contribute not only with the bat and also from your brain.

Posted by xylo on (September 20, 2012, 3:37 GMT)

CSK should be glad to avail his services as batting coach, maybe?

Posted by SamRoy on (September 20, 2012, 3:24 GMT)

Hayden retired from international cricket (tests, ODIs and T20Is) more than 3 and half years ago. Whether he is playing recreational cricket or not should not be a significant news.

Posted by mumerashfaq on (September 20, 2012, 3:17 GMT)

was in poor form, did a good job retiring from International cricket.

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 3:17 GMT)

champion player

Posted by   on (September 20, 2012, 3:11 GMT)

Didn't he retire 10 years ago ?

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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