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Hayden: 'Lara has taken it to another level'

Matthew Hayden, Australia's former world-record-holding batsman, said he could tell that Brian Lara had history on his mind, after watching footage of his phenomenal quadruple-century on the news.

"I sort of had the expectation that he was going to break the record. He really had it in his sights," Hayden told The Australian. "He's the kind of player who has incredible skill and ability to be able to bat a long period of time. But he's truly taken it to a new level now."

Hayden, who broke Lara's ten-year old record of 375 back in October, when he cracked 380 against Zimbabwe at Perth, phoned Lara to congratulate him on reclaiming his crown. "I spoke to him this morning and [he said] it was a really fun experience and similar to the one I had in Perth," Hayden said. "It was really noisy. Antigua's a venue that basically turns into a hip-hop stage.

"You can imagine walking through the dressing-room cutting a swathe of cigar smoke as all these guys are dancing around," added Hayden. "They were having a lot of fun and so they should. It's a tremendous event and marks a record-breaking performance."

Hayden admitted he was mildly disappointed that he no longer held the record. "I guess you feel a little bit disappointed but at the same time I've enjoyed an incredible wave of euphoria for the better part of six months. It's been a lot of fun.

"I think that the memory that will stand in my mind apart from anything is actually sitting in the dressing rooms with my mates around me really just overjoyed with the success. That by and large will stick with me forever."

As for what the future holds, Hayden said was not about to go record-hunting, even though the gauntlet has been thrown down. "I had no real expectations to break the record, firstly to get it and even to hold it, and nothing's really changed for me. I had nothing in mind."