Opener ponders retirement January 11, 2009

Hayden to consider his future this week

Cricinfo staff

Matthew Hayden has not decided whether he has played his last innings for Australia © PA Photos

Matthew Hayden will spend the next week pondering his future after insisting he had not yet decided whether to retire from international cricket having been axed from Australia's one-day team. Hayden said he had not been given an ultimatum by the national selectors and he was considering whether to try and push on for next month's tour of South Africa and the Ashes in England later in the year.

While his team-mates begin the limited-overs portion of their summer, Hayden will be holidaying with his wife Kellie and his children on Stradbroke Island, off the Queensland coast. "I'm just glad to have some time out now with my family," Hayden told the Sunday Telegraph.

"The next week or so will be crucial. I'm getting away, we'll definitely be heading to Straddy and getting some quality family time. There won't be any hitting of cricket balls. I'll be staying fit and healthy, but this will give me time to think about what it is I want to do."

Hayden's poor form during the home summer - he made 149 runs at 16.55 from five Tests - left many observers wondering if last week's Sydney Test would be his final appearance. The selectors said they would discuss Hayden's position when they sat down to pick the squad for South Africa next month, although Hayden could yet take the decision out of their hands.

"I need to allow myself the time to think about my future. I honestly haven't come to a decision," he said. "What this break will do is allow me the time I need to talk to Kel and allow ourselves to get off the roller-coaster ride and the travelling roadshow that cricket is and get some clarity of thought around the next stage of our lives.

"I don't fear retirement, not at all. I think I've earned the opportunity to think about my future, and now I'm going to take it. If I say that's it, that's fine, it's all good. The selectors haven't given me any ultimatums. I haven't thought about whether I have played my last innings for Australia. I think if you think like that, you have played your last innings."

Should he decide to play on, his next opportunity to regain form would be in Queensland's Sheffield Shield match against Western Australia beginning on January 30. It would be his only outing before the squad for the trip to South Africa is chosen.