Hayden hailed as among top three Oz left-handed openers of all time

January 13th, 2009 - 1:25 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Jan 13 (ANI): Australias Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith has hailed Matthew Hayden as being among countrys top three left-handers, following his retirement.

The minister paid tribute to Hayden who announced his retirement today, saying the 37-year-old was a great Australian, and added that Hayden could count himself among select company, the Herald Sun reported.

Hayden had been a great left-hander for Queensland and for Australia and the public would greet his retirement with great affection, he said.

I think together with Arthur Morris and Justin Langer he lays claim to being in the top three left-handed opening batsmen for Australia for all time, Smoth said.

Morris had been a member of Don Bradmans 1948 invincibles team.

The Australian opening batsman decided to draw the curtain on his career, saying it has been a great journey, but its time to move on.

Hayden said he was looking forward to spending time following his other passions - boating, fishing and spending time outdoors.

With friend and teammate Ricky Ponting at his side, a composed Hayden spoke enthusiastically about a future without cricket after announcing the sports worst kept secret.

He said he would continue to work closely with Glenn and Tracey Bevan and the McGrath Foundation, the Macquarie Bank Sports Foundation, and the Australian Cricketers Association. (ANI)

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