Hayden returns to cricket
Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden will come out of retirement to play for the Brisbane Heat in the Twenty20 Big Bash.
Last Updated: 25/07/11 8:57am
Former Australian international opener Matthew Hayden will be coming out of retirement to turn out for the Brisbane Heat in the Twenty20 Big Bash league in December.
The new-look Twenty20 competition in Australia is busy recruiting big-name stars to take part and having a national cricketing hero coming back to line-up in the event will be another big boost.
39-year-old Hayden retired from international cricket after 103 Tests and two World Cup wins, after ending his career starring in the Indian Premier League.
Hayden helped Chennai to win the 2010 Champions League and was the leading scorer in the 2009 IPL in 2009 with 572 runs and he is looking forward to getting his pads back on.
Hayden will quit his role as a director of Cricket Australia with his private company also taking an interest in the Brisbane side, who have signed up 14 players up to now.
Heat is on
"Now is the time to start turning up the Heat," Hayden said Monday. "T20 brings a new energy to the sporting landscape in a space I refer to as 'critainment.'
"T20 is now at the forefront of the development and expansion of our great game, both domestically and internationally. An 8-team Big Bash League structure has re-launched my interest as a highly viable business decision."
Hayden will be joined at the Queensland by New Zealanders Brendon McCullum and Daniel Vettori, who are the two international players to have been signed up by the Heat.
Former Australia team-mate Darren Lehman is now the coach of the Heat and he cannot wait to join-up with his fellow big-hitting left-hander.
"I took no time at all to say yes when the possibility of Matt playing for us was first floated," Lehmann said. "The man is a legend of our game and brings so much to any team he plays for, whether that's on the field, in the dressing-room, in the boardroom or away from the field with the fans.
"We're just excited to have his playing ability first and foremost and obviously his entertainment value, what he brings to the table for the Heat."
Hayden, who scored 8,625 runs at an average of 50.73 in Test cricket will also take up a business development role in the Heat as well as initially offering his talents on the field.