We’ve tried to give up writing about Matthew Hayden’s habit of talking a load of incomprehensible bollocks, but as the man himself says in a recent interview on Cricinfo: “Sometimes things are just meant to be, aren’t they? You just have to give in to the higher forces and say, ‘You know what, this is forever, and I don’t understand it. But so be it.'”
At the heart of the Hayden idiolect is the word ‘process’. For him, it means pretty much anything.
It can mean one shot.
“One of the things that I miss the most about cricket and batting in particular is that meditation of cricket, that involvement of myself – mind, body and spirit – to delivering that one specific process, which is to execute a cricket shot.”
Or it can mean all of the shots.
“That was very much in my overall psychology of trying to execute the base process of batting so that I was on the front foot rather than being on the back foot and reacting to conditions.”
And apparently it is also something you ‘live out’.
“Some of my best innings have been those that were less than 50 balls in duration because of the conditions. You won’t get the glory of 50 or 100 or 150 or 200, but you will get the inner peace of knowing that you committed to what the process was on the day, and that you were part of the process and you were living out that process.”
We’re slightly concerned that he’s becoming self aware though. At one point he asked whether ‘bowlsmanship’ was a word. Then again, in the very same sentence he referred to Bishan Bedi’s “thought process of tossing the ball in the air.”