Haydos heads out ??

December 30, 2008

In one of my earlier posts where I mentioned that in 2008 world cricket saw an epidemic of high profile retirements, I should have possibly waited till the end of the year to see the fate of Matthew Hayden. It is still too early to say whether Haydos will take the respectable route of announcing his retirement at the end of the Boxing Day test against South Africa, which increasingly looks going SA’s way with last day rain looking like the only thing that can save Australia (how quickly things turn around).

Given Cricket Australia’s record over the last few years where they have consistently put performance above reputation, it is more than likely that Haydos could get nudged out. Given his lack of performance ever since his return from injury, I guess they would be well within their rights in doing so. It would definitely be sad to see the last of Haydos, the biggest bully of a batsman that I have seen in my lifetime of watching cricket. Given the strong domestic structure in Australia, it is quite possible that there are people waiting in the wings. Names like Phil Jacques and Chris Rogers come to mind.

Having said all this, I guess it is a reflection of the hard times that Australian cricket seems to have fallen into since its glory days that Haydos is still being persisted with. Compared to the horrors that Haydos is going through, the form of Ian Healy at the time when he was nudged out (since he was keeping out a bristling with talent Gillie out of the team) seems red hot, and what to say about Mark Waugh. With Brett Lee more off than on, thanks to injuries, the continued “impertinence” of Symonds, the retirement of “once in a life-time talent” like Adam Gilchrist does not give them too much of a choice I guess. And we are talking of a cricket “system” that was supposed to have been engineered so as to churn out talent like the Indian system churns out corrupt politicians.

To me Hayden represented all that was good and bad with the Australian cricket team when they were masters of the world. As a neutral observer (which was difficult to be especially against India) it was awesome seeing him consistently decimate opposition bowlers. His intimidation of the opening bowlers was something that I wished that Indian batters could do. Sehwag did do it to a large extent. But Hayden seemed to kind of physically impose himself on the pitch in a way which was unique. But the exaggerated celebrations at the fall of a wicket, the cockiness in between deliveries, the sledging which he apparently indulged in, etc were representative of an Australian team that was not particularly keen on endearing itself to the rest of the cricketing world in general and me in particular. His reference to Bhajji as an “obnoxious weed” was possibly the last straw. He could very well end up being the last of the Aussies who made up the great team in the early to mid 2000s who when he does announce his retirement is queried with a “Why not”. Therein lies the tragedy of Matthew Hayden.

PS As I finish this post, South Africa have made history by winning their first ever series against Australia in Australia. Guess it is time for Mr. Hilditch and Co. to make some tough calls.


One Response to “Haydos heads out ??”

  1. mala Says:

    nice to see you getting the flow back, ganesh.
    for someone who’s sole knowledge of cricket is confined to kapil dev, imran khan, cute dhoni, india winning against pakistan and shane warnes escapades, your cricket writing is a great initiation for me! keep going. thanks.

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