Hayden explores success beyond cricket

January 17th, 2009 - 4:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Jan 17 (IANS) The life of a sportsperson revolves around rigorous training, stadiums and international tours. And it is only after retirement that one starts taking stock of other interests beyond sports. Matthew Hayden is one who is going through such a phase after hanging up his Baggy Green.Hayden has a dream of working with the government on an Aboriginal cricket programme and he has discussed it with none other than Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

No sooner had the news got out that Hayden was stepping down from cricket than the phone rang. It was Rudd, keen for a quick word.

Hayden’s people and Cricket Australia (CA) had a meeting with Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin after that. “I want to be part of what I think can happen soon, and that is for the first indigenous Australian to wear the baggy green,” Hayden said this week.

Unlike other cricketers, the Queenslander had many options as he sits down to ponder on life after cricket.

Hayden is the most marketable retired cricketer in the world. He is an icon in Queensland, all over Australia, India and elsewhere. He has 30 centuries to his credit. He is a fisherman, a keen barbecue chef, a Christian, a father and the sort of man prime ministers can’t wait to meet. Last week, he managed 13,000 media mentions - twice that of any politician, including Rudd.

David Croft, general manager of Hayden’s management company, International Quarterback, is busy working on further options for his client.

“I have plans for him in the media around his passion for fishing, outdoors and family,” Croft was quoted as saying in The Australian.

“There are opportunities in the UK and India, where he has an established profile as a rugged Australian, which hopefully will integrate into work over there.”

Among other retired teammates of Hayden, Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist has been living the dream all summer, suiting up and wandering from corporate function to corporate function wherever cricket is played.

Gilchrist also earned an estimated $700,000 advance for his book, which sold a remarkable 120,000 copies over Christmas. He has worked the circuit hard this summer, because a cricketer’s earning potential wanes with every passing year.

However, Todd Deacon of Sweeney Sports says sportsmen’s reputations last for some time. “Australian champion athletes who have been at the top of their sports for many years don’t suddenly drop off the face of the earth according to our research,” he said.

“They stick around for years, and that’s represented by people like Adam Gilchrist, who is third on our list of marketable sports stars. Glenn McGrath’s at six, Ian Thorpe’s at eight, Pat Rafter is at nine, Shane Warne and Steve Waugh are at 10.”

Away from that circuit, Hayden has a lifestyle television programme he is selling to networks and has reportedly drawn the interest of free-to-air and pay TV.

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