Matthew Hayden, who has made a comeback to cricket by joining the Brisbane Heat in the inaugural KFC T20 Big Bash League, said that he loves cricket and has been inspired by it his whole life.
“I love cricket and I’ve been inspired by cricket my whole life,” Hayden said.
“I love the Baggy Green, I love what it stands for, I love how it fits within the sporting landscape.
“However, short of the Ashes and the Indian summer from a Test match point of view, I’ve said for a large time that I’m largely uninvested in that particular competition.
“For me, having now firsthand witnessed what that means from an entertainment proposition, within the IPL and now within the franchise, I know this is going to re-engage our fan base.
“If mums, dads, kids rock up, watch the Brisbane Heat, and that is an investment they make that actually adds to them participating in our great game, then we’ll have done everything, both commercially and from a player development and participation point of view.”
Hayden is very excited about the new competition.
“I am excited by how that engages a new fan base, a new audience and the way I think cricket has adopted or is adopting Twenty20 as a franchise proposition will take this game as we know it to new levels and new heights,” he said.
“We may well be two or three years late – no more. This is where it starts and this is very important for cricket.”
Hayden has not played since the 2010 Indian Premier League season feels that he can make a huge difference and add value inside the dressing room.
“It’s a great challenge,” he said. “The opportunity to get fit and be part of a sporting organisation which I know is the future of the game excites me.
“As long as I’m excited and as long as I’m invested into that space, I feel like I can make a huge difference.
“I think that I can add tremendous value inside the dressing room as well.”
Hayden, who retired from Test cricket in 2008-09, played in the Indian Premier League with the Chennai Super Kings in 2008, 2009 and 2010. He was the leading runs-scorer in the competition in 2009 when he scored 572 runs at an average of 52 with a strike-rate of 144.81.
Hayden currently holds the record for the highest scores made by an Australian batsman in the Test, 380 against Zimbabwe at the WACA in 2003-04.
He previously also had the record for the highest score made by an Australian in One Day International (181*) which was broken by Shane Watson (185*) in 2011.