Australian opener Matthew Hayden calls it a day

January 13th, 2009 - 1:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Brisbane, Jan 13 (IANS) Australian opener Matthew Hayden Tuesday announced his retirement from international cricket, ending a glorious career spanning nearly 15 years.The decision came as the 37-year-old struggled with form and was left out of the squad for the Twenty20s and the one-day series against South Africa.

“Today I’m announcing my retirement from representative cricket, effective immediately. Now is the time to move on to the next stage of my life. I’ve lived the dream of every kid who’s ever picked up a bat and ball… It is a privilege and an honour that I’ll always remember,” Hayden read out from a statement.

An emotional Hayden tried to put up a brave face in the Champions Room at the Gabba, which is his home ground, but stumbled a few times as he read his retirement speech with captain Ricky Ponting by his side. Hayden spoke for more than half an hour about his past and his future with Australian cricket.

Hayden has been one of the most successful Australian opener with 8,625 runs from 103 Tests at an average of 50.73 with 30 centuries. He also played 161 one-days and scored 6,133 runs at an average of 43.80.

Hayden said from now on he would like to concentrate on charity work — both in helping find Australia’s next Aboriginal cricketer, and supporting the McGrath foundation — as well as pursue his other passions such as cooking, fishing and boating.

“Importantly for me, today I’m retiring from cricket but not from life. There is still so much that I want to achieve and contribute to the community. I see the next part of my life helping Australian families and kids reconnect with our great country by simply taking the time to get outside,” he said.

Hayden made a modest start to his Test career, but secured his place in the team after scoring 549 runs on a three-Test tour to India in 2001 at an average of 109.8. From there, he quickly went on to become one of the world’s most feared batsmen, scoring more than 1,000 Test runs in five successive calendar years from 2001-2005.

He also set a then world record for the highest individual score in a Test innings, scoring 380 against Zimbabwe at the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) Ground in 2003.

Hayden won the Allan Border medal in 2002, was also Test player of the year in 2002 and one-day international player of the year in 2007, and was also the ICC ODI player of the year in 2007.

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