Matthew Hayden’s gone

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2 minute read

Back foot play?“Matthew Hayden’s gone” was our favourite piece of commentary as well as being our way of announcing his retirement. We’re usually quite generous with our retirement posts. Not today.

Matthew Hayden was a batsman in the right place at the right time. He was also an arrogant turd. Essentially though, he was the physical embodiment of several problems with Test cricket and we’ll never get past that.

Fast bowlers

Matthew Hayden had the monstrous fortune to be an opening batsman during the feeblest era for fast bowlers. He had a go at Test cricket when Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh and Allan Donald were playing and averaged 21.75.

His one hundred during that period came in a match that Ambrose missed. Ambrose had got him for five and nought in the match before and he got him for another duck the innings straight after.

Matthew Hayden’s rise coincided with an increased number of international cricket matches and a resulting heavy workload for fast bowlers that pretty much removed them from the game.

Flat pitches

Matthew Hayden’s career also coincided with increasingly friendly pitches that were designed to last five days.

True greats

With Ricky Ponting the next man in and Adam Gilchrist as low as number seven, Australia never depended on Hayden for runs, even when he was rated the best batsman in the world. With McGrath and Warne in the side, they didn’t even need that many runs anyway. Hayden did his batting in a dreamy land of plenty where Australian averages soared.

Are you saying he was completely useless?

The best religious-minded triangle-shaped torso hanging off a jaw to play for AustraliaHayden’s tactic of standing a yard outside his crease was a masterstroke and we’ll take nothing away from him on that score. It was perfect for the time and he carried out his plan with a competence that few would deny.

However, standing a yard out of your crease isn’t possible against fast bowlers, nor is it possible on dicey pitches – let alone both. In another era, he’d have had no teeth and no Test place. However, he was perfect for his time.

We just hated his time and because of that, we hated him. Because of that and because of all the crap he used to talk as well. That said, he’s now going to work on trying to find indigenous cricketers for the national team – an inherently worthy and admirable aim – so maybe we’re going to have to do a complete about face on the man.


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  1. YOU’ve a severe case of penis envy, KC (presuming you’ve got one. Maybe that’s your problem).

  2. Sam, Hayden could bat. He could bat very, very well. We’re only saying that he was a batsman perfectly suited to his times.

    Steve, our problems are many and varied, but not that.

  3. KC, i think you’re acting like a spoil sport of sorts.
    Hayden did play in a team with McGrath, Warne , Ponting and Gilly, but it is important that whenever Hayden failed Australia failed as well. Go back to the ashes in 2005 or even recently against India and South Africa. Hayden has played a very vital role with utmost dedication . Ridiculing him is pretty foolish.

  4. Hayden would have been a good opener to have in any side, but his 8000+ runs and 30 centuries do not make him a “great” by any means. not even his 380 against pop-gun Zimbabwe.

  5. He had a go at test cricket after 2004 as well, when he averaged 45, meaning that excluding the five years 2000 – 2004 (name a decent fast bowler in this period) his NORMALISED test average is 41. This is the number that should be used when comparing him to any other batsman.

    It sounds so much better – Matthew Hayden, test average 41.

    Say it again. FORTY-ONE. Not fifty-one, FORTY-ONE.

    Now say MEDIOCRE.

  6. I’m an Aussie and I agree completely KC. Leaving aside his consistent lack of form against any real opposition since 2005 it was his attitude to the game and his opponents that would for the first time in my life make me ashamed of our national team.

    Looking forward to Australia working to regain the number 1 spot on and off the field as the next generation comes through.

  7. Matthew Hayden was a tardy player at his best, not to mention a horrible representation for the Australian image.
    To the retirement of Matthew Hayden, all I can say is Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish.
    Poor guy had to retire with a horrid last year and a royal trashing from India.

  8. Punter likes him, though:

    “I don’t think there’s any doubt about that [he is Australia’s greatest opener]. You can even look back through the history books of the game and try and see if there’s ever been a better opening batsman in the game, let alone Australia.”

    OK, let’s try –


    No, he’s right, Matthew Hayden (normalised test average 41) is the best.

  9. I generally agree with your posts on this subject. I do not see any reason why I have to now disagree with someone who knows the subject so well.

  10. KC, I feel for you. You have been waiting for YEARS to write about Matthew Hayden leaving, and then he goes and poops your party by doing something worthy, gracious and kind in his retirement.

  11. He only did it to spite us.

    Mostly we’re just worried that we’ll be about 40 articles short for 2009 though.

  12. Any hope of redemption Hayden might have had was lost when he “farewelled” the Gabba in the interval today. No amount of laudable charity work can make up for someone causing ‘farewell’ to be used as a verb.

  13. Your Royal Illustriousness, mayhap you ought to have a one last literary ‘spooge’ and expunge yourself of all your Hayden stories now while it will appear all bitter and low?

  14. KC

    He may have scored runs against Zimbabwe & on good decks but the Poms played tests in the same period as Haydos & no Pom came close to him. He is arrogant yes but as someone else said you still have to hit the ball bowled to you to score the runs.

  15. Whit, we’ve never mentioned Zimbabwe. All we’re saying is that his achievements are qualified by certain factors – opposition bowlers, pitches, his team mates – which in our eyes mean he isn’t one of the greats.

    He was an accomplished batsman who expertly exploited a certain cricketing environment to the full.

  16. To say he’s great is a joke. That’s funny. Just because he’s retiring doesn’t make him great. He was an player who doesn’t have the respect of most people world wide. Too bad.

    He’s an unlikeable guy. And when he retires, what do you expect? People are glad another rotten egg is off the field.

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