Matthew Hayden’s extra words

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One of the defining qualities of Matthew Hayden’s guff-talking is his habit of throwing in a load of additional words that add precisely nothing to what he is trying to say. We’re going to talk to you about three recent examples.

Last time around – back when Hayden first took on his coaching job with Pakistan – we highlighted another of the former Aussie opener’s verbal crimes – a tendency to start one sentence and confuse himself before ending a completely different sentence.

There was a very fine example of this in his recent interview with Cricinfo.

Speaking about Pakistan’s players taking on India’s, he said: “Your opportunity now becomes a very history-making opportunity. I sense that our players are ready for that opportunity, and I sense that there is a calmness around our group that wants us to be a successful competitor on the day.”

This isn’t even one of the quotes we want to talk about today, but this is just incredible stuff from start to finish. Hayden must be the first person in human history to have said, “Your opportunity now becomes a very history-making opportunity” – and that isn’t even the key line.

The key line is that second one; the one about a calmness that apparently feels emotions and harbours desires. This particular calmness wants multiple people to be one singular successful competitor.


Anyway, that’s just a quick wide-eyed marvel and not in fact today’s main thing.

Today’s main thing is the adding of extra words.

(Actually, just one more thing before we get to that. He also said that he’s been following Indian cricket closely before making the baffling claim that, “I more or less watch KL Rahul.” Matthew Hayden says he more or less watches KL Rahul. Anybody any ideas what that means? No?)

Extra words

Let’s keep things simple. What we’ll do is we’ll reproduce three Hayden quotes. Then we’ll follow each with a translation that’ll help you spot all the superfluous words that he jammed in there for no good reason whatsoever.

Exhibit A

Hayden points out that the two dominant captains during the IPL were MS Dhoni and Eoin Morgan, “even though their individual performances weren’t as good as what they have previously done within their own statistical record.”

He could instead have said that the two dominant captains during the IPL were MS Dhoni and Eoin Morgan, “even though their individual performances weren’t as good as in the past.”

Exhibit B

“Nothing else that I’ve ever seen throughout various elements of the game that I’ve been a part of ever matches the rivalry between India and Pakistan.”

He could instead have said: “Nothing that I’ve seen matches the rivalry between India and Pakistan.”

Exhibit C

“This (Pakistan) camp has got some wonderful assets that will perform on the day that are ready to perform.”

He could instead have said: “Pakistan have got some good players.”

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  1. This is a style of speaking that might be familiar to anyone I’ve worked with in the past who has heard me be asked a question by a questioner and then have to say a series of words, without time to think, and so using the time that is bought by saying things in a really elongated way to think about the words that might come at the end of what I hope will be a sentence but by this stage is really better just described as a series of words that I have said and that I will indicate the end of by changing the inflection of my voice or maybe just adding a phrase that indicates I have run out of steam, at least that’s what I’d conclude at the moment but maybe best to check back in on that next week.

    In other words, I am perhaps occasionally Matthew Hayden. What a terrible, terrible thought.

  2. They interviewed Babar in Urdu at the end of the match today. I’m pretty sure I found Babar in Urdu (a language with which I am largely unfamiliar) more comprehensible than Hayden in Haydese.

    I was a little concerned, though, that I detected the occasional use of words such as “execute” mixed in with Babar’s Urdu. Keep it pure, Babar. In particular, if you are going to adopt the occasional word from another language into Urdu, try to avoid those from Haydese.

    1. I stumbled across this clip the other day of a Pakistani TV programme, all about the World Cup, and watched in amazement as the panellists (some famous faces there) shifted from Urdu to English and back, and sometimes just mixed them together. I am also largely unfamiliar with Urdu, but it seemed to me that they switched languages if the context of what they wanted to say changed.

  3. I’m basically the exact opposite of Hayden. At University I would dread nothing more than a 1000 word limit essay, because I’d typically answer whatever was being asked in 250.

  4. Is ‘opportunity’ the new ‘process’? Did he learn a new word? Has it become… [gulp]… sentient?

    1. The way Pakistan just murked India suggests it may have become sentient and transferred its processes to Babar Azam and Mohammed Rizwan, who lived out that process on the way to the opportunities mindsets that comes when you’re in the middle of the process of hitting all the balls christ once you start the process of making this joke it actually becomes hard to centre yourself near the processes of finding an opportunity to stop. Ballbags. Its processes are infectious. Run. Save yoursel…

  5. Back in college, I used to more or less look at girls. What I mean is I was terrified of making direct eye-contact lest I be put in a position of actually having to say something. Perhaps Hayden approaches Rahul the way the younger Deep Cower approached women.

      1. I enjoyed reading that piece, Ged. I do wish I had your dad’s spirit back in college. Alas!

  6. Hayden’s word salad is Brent’s managementspeak, only without a joke. Has no-one thought to take him to one side and explained that he sounds ridiculous? Elite levels of ridiculous at that.

  7. More on Matthew Hayden please. I feel you lost a certain something when he retired, I did feel Stuart Clarke might have been his successor but it wasn’t to be.

    Maybe the next ridiculous ashes should be on a series he played in

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