Big Bash League news July 25, 2011

No guarantees for Hayden investment

Matthew Hayden's plans to become a part-owner of the Brisbane Heat Twenty20 franchise are far from guaranteed, despite the air of inevitability that hung over the announcement of his signature to play for the team in next summer's expanded Big Bash League.

So far only the Melbourne Renegades and the Sydney Thunder have got approval to seek minority private ownership of up to 49%, a process that is currently being overseen by the financial services company Credit Suisse.

Other teams are presently allowed to negotiate unofficially with potential investors, but that moratorium will end once the Sydney and Melbourne deals are settled.

In addition to playing, Hayden wants to align his company The Hayden Way with the Heat as part of what he breathlessly called "a leisure-tainment and entertainment package that has never yet been seen on our shores in cricket".

However Cricket Australia will have to be satisfied, when the time for private investment in the Heat is allowed, that Hayden's company will provide a worthwhile return.

"We don't know what the timing is going to be, and it is subject to Cricket Australia approval," a CA spokesman said. "At this stage The Hayden Way is keen, Brisbane is keen, and Matthew Hayden will be first in the queue to be a private investor in the Heat."

Speaking in Brisbane, Hayden made the case for using T20 to secure cricket's future in Australia by appealing to a wider audience. He also said he had lost interest in international cricket against nations other than England and India, a stark statement from a CA board member.

"There's a lot of things cricket can't control, the Future Tours Program being one of those, however we can control our domestic content," Hayden said. "From a commercial point of view most definitely I see this being an enormous success, but it's key is if it gets mums, dads, families coming to the cricket, enjoying a three-hour proposition, with not the trinkets and the charms but a true value proposition.

"I love cricket and have been inspired by cricket my whole life. I love the baggy green, I love what it stands for. However short of the Ashes, and potentially the Indian summer, I've said for a long time that I'm largely un-invested in that particular competition. So for me having now first-hand witnessed what that [T20] means as an entertainment proposition, firstly in the IPL and now within the franchise, I know this is going to re-engage our fan base.

"If kids, mums and dads and families rock up, then that is an investment they make which adds to them participating in our great game, then we'll have done everything, both commercially and from a participation point of view.

"I think most definitely people are losing interest within the tournaments. I'll give you a prime example of that, the ICC champions trophy. Australia won that tournament, the first time that trophy's ever been in the cabinet, and yet do we know about it, we had some idea but it wasn't the same impact as what it could make. The World Cup is incredibly important within the game, but there are challenges in the landscape, it is a very cluttered landscape."

Australia's T20 competition had previously been state-based, something Hayden said was part of the pathway towards the national team and not something he was interested in participating in as a player or investor. But, in a somewhat convoluted argument, he also reckoned that his return to the domestic scene would help to educate young players with his many years of experience.

"The reason I've never been interested in this tournament until now is I've always seen it as a pathways program," Hayden said. "It's been sat within the stakeholders of the game being the states, and every spot I took up was an opportunity for a youngster to come in and take up that same spot, and I'd been a beneficiary of those wonderful pathway programs that have existed within our country.

"Now however this is a different proposition, this is an entertainment package, and it is going to, whether we like it or not, and it already has, competed with all the other franchise sports, and there is going to be some rationalisation over the next two years. I'm looking forward to being part of seeing what best fits for cricket.

"When you lose someone like a [Adam] Gilchrist or a [Shane] Warne or a [Justin] Langer or the Waughs, all these players, you lose 20, 30, 40 years of cricket experience. This is why I love the strategic direction of having guys like Darren Lehmann investing back into our great game, because there you've got a passionate cricket love who has got an incredible skill set as a player but can also pass information down to our youngsters, which is key to developing any culture.

"John Buchanan said when he was coach of Australia and Queensland that his ideal scenario was to become redundant in that role, and he did that by lifting up the younger players into the more iconic positions. I think I can add that value to the dressing room as well."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Christopher on July 28, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    Hayden was very careful to name the test playing nations he is invested in,as england and india,the two countries with significant moneys and tv rights in 20/20 and the most likely to add to The Hayden Ways value equation in the high probability that he snares franchise investment rights.Its unthinkable that he should use his CA and Queensland Cricket board positions to gain inside information to use to his own financial advantage.Its irrelevent that he has now resigned those commissions.Its also mystifying that CA officials would condone it.Is it even legal?

  • Steve on July 26, 2011, 10:28 GMT

    I'm sure the boards of the countries hayden feels "uninvested" in will be thrilled with his comments as a member of the CA board. Clearly he is not going to feel "reinvested" in Test cricket if he doesn't have any respect for any teams except England and India. Putting aside his self interested euphoria about the BBL how can someone who made his fortune from cricket be so dismissive of the players, fans and officials who love the game in South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or New Zealand. I assume that there will only be Indian and England players invited to play in HIS team in the BBL.Hayden may want to walk away from Test cricket now that he has made his money but true cricket fans want to see the game flourish at a time when it's one of the most competitive periods for 20 years. Falling crowds in the IPL, falling TV ratings in a few years time non cricket fans will be bored with BBL, IPL or whatever you want to call it and move onto something else. Real fans will still be here.

  • Pankaj on July 26, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    instead of playing for money, he should think of returning to test cricket. oz need him very badly what with their depleted weak batting since past 3 years.

  • Christopher on July 26, 2011, 1:02 GMT

    This story should be THE headline news.This isnt Hayden talking,its a CA board member.Given his 95 runs in his last nine games for Chennai,how long do you think he will hang around if his application for franchiseeship is knocked back.In what universe would a member of both the CA board and Queensland Cricket board,revoke their priveleges unless they had an airtight guarantee of personal gain?Given what we have heard from Sutherland and Jack Clarke,at this point,giant alarm bells should be ringing and the Argus Review must surely make full disclsure of an episode which clearly strikes at the heart of the motivations of the men charged with guarding australias cricket fortunes.This speaks volumes for why there has been no intelligence to the appointments or actions of CA employees for the last four years-noone was interested or thought traditional cricket worth the effort.Hayden has to have been a prime mover in BBL,given his business interests and IPL experience.RIP test cricket.

  • Andrew on July 26, 2011, 0:15 GMT

    "a leisure-tainment and entertainment package that has never yet been seen on our shores in cricket".

    What did the english language do to Matthew Hayden? Why does he seem intent on causing as much pain to it as possible?

    To paraphrase Kant: "He who is cruel to language becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of language."

  • Christopher on July 26, 2011, 0:06 GMT

    Heres the real Hayden.Prepared to see traditional cricket burn in the pursuit of personal wealth.Hayden has been on the board of CA and Queensland.Why?He has no interest in state based 20/20 and no interest in tests.Hes convinced that most test countries are irrelevent.I doubt that the cricketing community has any such notions.Australia has the highest per capita attendance of tests in the world.It has strong traditional audiences.Hayden made it clear that he has no interest in traditional cricket and that his main motivation is,'The business of cricket'.He is a force behind the money at all costs direction of australian cricket.Resources have been channelled away from the test team causing its downward spiral and the BBL hastily convened a year ahead of its proposed schedule.The Argus Review in high probability,would have vetoed the BBL.Hayden was a joint proposer of BBL,had inside knowledge and has revoked his board memberships just to get his hands on a franchise.Disgusting episode.

  • Dummy4 on July 25, 2011, 22:04 GMT

    Shaun Price, tickets were sold out at Lords between India and England!!

  • Dummy4 on July 25, 2011, 17:46 GMT

    MH has a serious viewpoint. Test cricket between nations has dropped off because (1) australia was in complete control and (2) there are no "UNDERSTANDABLE" league tables. In every sport there are either league tables or times (hours minutes seconds )

    SO ICC UNTIL YOU EMBRACE REAL MEANINGFUL LEAGUE TABLES test cricket between all nations except the ASHES will be very very poorly attended.

    Can anyone tell me when was a test match "SOLD OUT" on any one single day in South Africa. No not even NEWLANDS CAPE TOWN.

    WANDERERS JOBURG probably doesn't even make a profit.

  • Girik on July 25, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    Surely it is also exciting when South Africa tours Australia? And I also feel that that the other four "smaller" Test nations of Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Pakistan and West Indies will be much more competitive on the next tours down under, not only because Australia has dropped a few rungs in quality but these teams will be far more confident when they play against the Aussies. Plus at least with the latter three, new talent is coming through who have never faced the Green and Gold Aura. Won't be surprised if the Kiwis can sneak a Test win on their upcoming tour and India to win its first ever Test Series (India's recent tour of South Africa was and their current tour of England is at the moment a much stiffer task).

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