Australia in the West Indies 2008 May 30, 2008

Hayden brushes off retirement talk

Cricinfo staff


Matthew Hayden had a hamstring injury earlier this year and now his achilles tendon is causing him problems © Getty Images
 

Matthew Hayden says the injury that has ended his tour of the West Indies will not finish his career. Hayden was sent home from the Caribbean after Australia discovered the tendinosis in his right achilles, which kept him out of the first Test, would stop him from playing the remaining two matches.

It will be the biggest lay-off for Hayden in years, after he played 86 consecutive Tests until missing the WACA game against India in January with a hamstring problem. But Hayden, 36, brushed off reports that the niggling injury might prompt him to start thinking of retirement.

"I'll be back bigger and better than ever," Hayden told the Sydney Morning Herald. "This isn't the kind of thing that is going to end my career. With the way the calendar is at the moment, there is a good opportunity now to get it right before a pretty busy schedule starts up.

"So we decided that, rather than push it, it would be better to just get it right once and for all and go from there. I am completely confident that I will get this right and be back soon."

The team's medical staff thought Hayden could probably have played in the one-day internationals that will follow the Tests in the West Indies. However, their cautious approach means he will target the three home ODIs against Bangladesh starting in late August, ahead of the Champions Trophy in Pakistan and a Test tour of India.

While Simon Katich is the top-order beneficiary for the remaining Tests in the Caribbean, Hayden's absence from the one-day team means Australia will have an unfamiliar pairing regardless of who is chosen. They have not played an ODI since Adam Gilchrist retired at the end of the CB Series.

Hayden's replacement is yet to be named but of the men already in the one-day squad the most likely candidates to open are James Hopes, who filled in at the top twice in the CB Series, and the uncapped Shaun Marsh. Both have been in excellent form in the Indian Premier League, where they have opened together for Kings XI Punjab, and Marsh is the tournament's leading run scorer.

"That's big news [Hayden's departure], and big too for Shaun knowing that because now he'll be playing over there," Hopes told AAP. "We've spoken about how good it would be to be able to bat together for Australia, a lot of the times in this tournament he's been kicking on."

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