Brisbane Heat score Hayden coup
Matthew Hayden will come out of retirement to play for the Brisbane Heat in this summer's Big Bash League. Hayden, who will be 40 by the time the season starts, has officially signed up as the Heat's 14th player, and he will give up his responsibilities as a board member of Cricket Australia and Queensland Cricket in order to play domestically again.
He hasn't played since the 2010 Champions League, and hasn't played in Australia since his retirement from Test cricket in January 2009. However, Hayden was keen to get out in the middle again, and the deal was also attractive in a business sense, with his company, The Hayden Way, set to take an equity position with the Heat.
"I have had little interest in the T20 format domestically whilst it remained a state based format, which to me, was a pathway or development program to national interests," Hayden said. "A system, I hasten to add, that I received the benefit of as a player.
"But an eight-team Big Bash League structure - involving separate organisations running these entities with private equity stakeholders in the future - has launched the 'business of cricket' and relaunched my interest as a highly viable business decision, adding value both to The Hayden Way, and also to me personally on the field."
The Brisbane Heat coach, Darren Lehmann, said the team jumped at the chance to have Hayden on board. "I took no time at all to say yes when the possibility of Matt playing for us was first floated,'' Lehmann said. "The man is a legend of our game and brings so much to any team he plays for, whether that's on the field, in the dressing-room, in the boardroom or away from the field with the fans ... it is just outstanding."