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Matthew Hayden calls time on cricket career with 8624 runs at 50.74
By Robert Craddock
January 13, 2009
FORMER Australia opening batsman Matthew Hayden has decided to draw the curtain on his outstanding international cricket career.
Hayden has decided to quit cricket, and he is likely to be given a rousing farewell with a lap of the ground at the Twenty20 match between South Africa and Australia at the Gabba.
Hayden, 37, who played 103 Tests, has been mulling his decision for several days after being omitted from Australia's Twenty20 and one-day sides to play South Africa.
Hayden's exit comes after a rugged summer in which he failed to pass 50 in five home Tests.
But he will leave the game as arguably Australia's greatest opener with a record of 8624 runs at 50.74 that seemed a moon ride away when he played just seven Tests in his first five years as a Test player.
Email: How will you remember Matthew Hayden's career?
Australia are understood to be undecided who will replace Hayden in the Test team, though Phil Jaques, a century-maker in his last Test against West Indies, must be given another chance if he can fully recover from a back injury.
Hayden's cricketing journey started on the family farm at Kingaroy, where elder brother Gary gave him a robust working over on a home-made pitch.
The road to greatness contained many testing potholes including people expressing reservations over his size (large), his footwork and his work off his pads.
But few players in the game have worked harder and each box was ticked and each bogey hacked down as he made a painstaking progression to the international ranks.
Allan Border once said of him: "People say he is not orthodox but all othodox really means is the way most people do things. It doesn't mean it is right.
"Every season he seems to work harder to come up with a shot that keeps him ahead of bowlers who were still planning from the season before."
After blazing like a comet through his breakthrough tour of India in 2001 Hayden dominated world attacks for the next three years.
His cavalier front foot style terrorised rival attacks who were also chastened by his imposing body language.
His fierce will was evident even more in one-day cricket than Tests. He was dropped, seemingly never to return from the Australian one-day side in 2005, but fought his way back to be a star of the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean.[/b]
Well done Hayden on a fantastic career. The sad thing is he didn't really retire on top and go out on his own terms.