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News

Matthew Hayden hails late Dean Jones' 'beautiful' impact on Pakistan cricket

"He's left a legacy within this team which will last not only this generation but generations to come."

Deivarayan Muthu
10-Nov-2021
Hayden on Jones' legacy - "He gave a lot of himself to Cricket Australia but also a lot of himself to Pakistan cricket"  •  Getty Images

Hayden on Jones' legacy - "He gave a lot of himself to Cricket Australia but also a lot of himself to Pakistan cricket"  •  Getty Images

Matthew Hayden, the Pakistan batting coach, has singled out the late Dean Jones for special praise, on the eve of the second semi-final between Australia and Pakistan in the T20 World Cup in Dubai. Jones, the hero of Australia's tied Test against India in Chennai, arguably made a bigger impact on one-day cricket, with his lively batting helping Australia to their first World Cup victory in 1987.
After ending his playing career, Jones went onto become a commentator and coach. He was a particularly prominent figure in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), where he would often be spotted writing notes in his famous red book.
Jones was in charge of Islamabad United when they secured the PSL titles in 2016 and 2018. He then took over as Karachi Kings' head coach for the fifth season of the tournament that was halted before the playoffs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Jones, however, died suddenly after a heart attack in September 2020, when he was a commentator in India for the IPL.
"I want to make a special mention of my former team-mate and colleague and that is Dean Jones," Hayden said during a virtual media interaction. "He gave a lot of himself to Cricket Australia but also a lot of himself to Pakistan cricket. His closing words to me I can hear in my ears: 'These are my boys and this is something I'm so passionate about'.
"He was just beautifully connected to Pakistan cricket and may he rest in peace now, knowing the fact that he's left a legacy within this team which will last not only this generation but generations to come. If I can add value to those closing comments from Deano, that will be my greatest honour."
Although Hayden was only roped in for this T20 World Cup in the UAE, he has seen enough promise in the main team - and the reserves - that will serve Pakistan cricket well in the future.
"It is obvious that I've been with the team [for] a very short time, which has meant it has been really important to have a heart connect with the players, the administrators and also the management team," Hayden said. "I felt that has been achieved and I felt in many ways that was my individual and personal aim throughout throughout this tournament to get a sense of the commitment of all the layers within the game and Pakistan in Pakistan. And understand one of the most beautiful things and that is that raw talent and talent is there in abundance for Pakistan cricket. And [with] right leadership and mentoring and guide, this side has got possibilities, as it has shown in five matches so far, to take on anyone."
Hayden also likened the immense pressure surrounding the India-Pakistan clash to the Ashes and credited the Pakistan side for pulling off a tone-setting victory against India in their tournament opener.
"The highlight and the obvious eye will go to the first game that we played here in Dubai, where we are playing tomorrow night," he said. "Just how under immense pressure...pressure that I've never understood till I was inside the dressing room and only comparable of course to England-Australia Ashes series. Just how these boys wonderfully handled [the situation] every calmly and confidently - their approach to playing such a huge match.
"I think that game really set us up for what has been a really lovely four weeks of solid work, great commitment to training and great purpose in general and a wonderful heart connect to Islam and how spirituality has played its role within the Pakistan team as a great guide and tool for everyone to come together. Very optimistic [of Pakistan's future] and I see wonderful potential."

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo