Pakistan’s poor batters are going to have to listen to Matthew Hayden speak

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Matthew Hayden will be working as a batting consultant for Pakistan at the T20 World Cup in the UAE next month. Matthew Hayden is a man we used to write about very often. Now, against our better judgement, we’re about to write about him again.

Some time in 2006, we began writing about just how much we did not like Matthew Hayden. This gradually morphed into a compulsion to highlight all of the absolute bollocks he talked.

“Day in, day out, this side just desperately wants to complete its skills and give itself every chance to play good cricket,” he would say.

Or: “I want to see Ricky Ponting going like that when he wins and plays for Australia. That’s the heat of the battle, that’s Test cricket, that’s the enormous passion and enthusiasm that gets played from all games of cricket, you see it even in backyard cricket.”

It quite quickly became apparent that this was a person who put more effort into trying to sound smart and important than into actually thinking.

One of the most striking elements of his speech was a tendency to start one sentence, confuse himself, and then end a completely different sentence.

“The capacity to win in another country under duress of opposition tactics and their entire country was perhaps the best team result that we’ve had,” was one example.

But mostly it was just cod-management gibberish, all ‘processes’ and ‘value propositions’ and shite like that. (‘Process’ is his favourite. Hayden has at times talked about being “part of a process” and “living out that process”.)

One more example.

Talking about the late Philip Hughes early in his career, he said: “He’s got all the evidence and the skillsets he needs. His humbling personality and how respectful he is are two elements of the baggy green culture.”

There’s quite a bit to unpack in that one.

We could reproduce dozens of quotes to illustrate Hayden’s guff-talking, but that’s the point. Eventually people would email us, saying: “Hayden’s said more things that don’t make sense. You have to write about it!”

By that point our work was done. Even Michael Atherton was slagging him off for talking nonsense. Pointing out Hayden’s verbal cobblers had become a job that took care of itself.

So why are we returning to this now?

It occurs to us that Matthew Hayden spoke most of his public bollocks quite a long time ago and maybe we now have a few readers for whom he is just this guy from way-back-when who made a load of runs for Australia.

And let us be clear. We do not want people moving round in the world thinking things like that. Everyone should have the opportunity to go through life thinking that Matthew Hayden seems like kind of a tit.

“Hayden is yesterday’s news,” counters a fictional young reader we just made up. “Australia have an objectionable left-handed opening bat right now. David Warner is way worse than Matthew Hayden. You should concentrate on him.”

Oh simple, naive, alienated soon-to-be former-reader of this website. David Warner is not worse than Matthew Hayden. Let us tell you why.

David Warner is an emotional man and we would argue that the majority of his objectionable behaviour (admittedly not all of it) is a product of his inner chimp. Interviewed later, in the coolness of another setting, there is a self-awareness to Warner that should perhaps temper your perception of him.

Hayden, in contrast, is a man who stops and thinks about what to say and do and then decides to be a bit of a pious prick.

Now we’re not in the market for weighing different offences against each other, but we will argue that Hayden is the more reliably and consistently objectionable of the two, day-to-day.

“The Platinum Club is basically the top-order batsmen – the ‘engine room’, we call ourselves – plus one of the interior decorators in Damien Martyn,” he once said. “The fast bowlers aren’t invited.”

Matthew Hayden is a person who makes up a thing called The Platinum Club within the Australia team, makes himself part of it and then tells people about this.

“The distinguishing features of my Baggy Green was the blood, sweat and tears,” he said another time.

Or how about the time he defined ‘Australianism’ as, “Uncompromising, very hardworking, fantastic mateship, belief in one another, incredible pride for the country, and being very balanced”?

None of these quotes are damning in isolation. It’s the relentlessness of them that’s so incriminating; forever talking about self-improvement and giving talks on philosophy and mysticism despite being completely incapable of clearly expressing even one simple thought.

Hayden with Pakistan

How will Hayden coach? What will he say? Coaching is all about communication.

Whether the players are English speakers or not, Hayden brings his own built-in language barrier.

If all the people who get the King Cricket email are in a gang, it is most definitely not called The Platinum Club. And you’re quite welcome to join.

18 comments

  1. Upsolutley rubbish pathetic attitude he has not a right choice by pathetic Ramiz Raja he is only a cheap commontater feel sorry for the Pakistan cricketers it’s going to be a Disaster definitely end of Pakistan cricket wrong choice by Ramiz to select Hayden and South African bowler pakistani cricketers have language barrier their not English speakers foreign coaches dnt speak Urdu so it’s definitely going to be communication problem unles pathetic Ramiz hires language translation team. What a jokers. PCB is laughing 😂 jokers in cricket world

  2. Wait, you have fictional young readers? How fictional? Do they have an element of reality at all? If so, is it allowed in here? I thought we were all just going about ageing gracefully. Now you go throw a monkey wrench in the entire process. We demand explanations.

    1. Excellent sly use of the word “process” there, Deep Cower. I have huge respect for the thought process that led to that sentence of yours. Welcome to the Platinum Club of comment writers and their thought processes.

    2. Allow me to unveil myself as the fictional young reader. I mean, I’m not really young — I’m old enough to hate Matthew Hayden purely because I’ve been hating Australian cricketers on principle since the late 1980s. But I wandered into the blog during the post-Hayden wilderness, and had no idea that in addition to looking an utter bellend on the pitch, he was also embodying the fabric of executing his skillsets, which is the process of continually and publicly regurgitating a toxic smoothie of management consultancy, self-help, and mystical bullshit, and that’s really what the mateship of cricket’s all about, in all of our gardens. Having spent most of the afternoon when I should have been working reading all the old posts about Haydos’ atrocities against language and logic, and having ended up doubled over in a wheezing laugh that made the cat leave the room, I have duly subscribed to the Patreon.

      Please write more about Matthew Hayden.

      1. Is that a positive outcome from the evidence of the process of Matthew Hayden executing his skillset?

      2. Our favourite part of this is the perfectly credible definition of ‘young reader’ as ‘middle aged person relatively new to the website’.

        Thank you for your patreonage. Much appreciated.

    3. I’m not yet quite 40; maybe he meant people like me?

      Excellent work as usual, KC, highlighting and calling out this nonsense-speak. I wonder why “haydos” hasn’t yet made the full transition to the corporate or management world? He’d surely fit right in.

      In other news, Brezzylad took six slip catches today, one short of the all-time record, which is held by actual wicketkeepers!

    4. I might count. Not only am I the right side of 35 (until I pass it, then the right side of 35 will change), but I only got into cricket in 2013, just in time to see England plummet off a cliff. I have however read several King Cricket articles about both Hayden and his opening partner. I am by this stage well aware of Hayden’s dross-talking, for which I have this site to thank.

      Thank you, yer maj.

  3. Even the job title is Haydenesque. Not coach, but “batting consultant”. Job description is: “short term, high impact post, supporting key stakeholders to drive elite performance outcomes, key deliverables and processes aligned with overarching strategic objectives”.

  4. …in other news…

    …a cross between a match report, cricket people spotted and “Did You See.”…

    …Did you see King Cricket fan & journalist, Adam “Collo” Collins, on Sky this evening, announced as “Adam Brown” by the Taunton ground announcer, afore Collo did the presentations?

    More surprising for me & Daisy was to hear Collo commentate on the telly from Taunton at all.

    After our FoodCycle Marylebone gig finished around 2:30, Daisy and I hot-footed it up Lisson Grove in the hope of catching the dying moments of Middlesex’s home season. We succeeded…just.

    Hungry and thirsty, we managed to procure top-notch coffees and cakes just before the coffee shop closed. We sat on benches facing the Coronation Garden to enjoy our snacks.

    Then, on heading to the Grace Gates, we ran into Gus Fraser. While chatting briefly with him, Collo came along and greeted Gus, while giving us the “nodding acquaintance” nod.

    When Collo’s voice came in the TV a few hours later, Daisy asked who this commentator might be. I told her it was Collo, to which she stated that it couldn’t possibly be him as we had seen him just a few hours ago at Lord’s.

    “But it only takes a few hours to get from Lord’s to Taunton”, I said.

    “Then he’s working too hard”, said Daisy.

    1. We wouldn’t consider ourself an expert in this area, but he does indeed appear to be one of the hardest-working men in cricket.

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