Matthew Hayden: Chances of ICC World T20 very slim

Former Australia batsman Hayden throws light on the downfall of global economy with currencies in ruin along with number of deaths going up due to COVID-19.

Former Australia batsman Matthew Hayden feels the world should take a pause before cricket can be played in normal conditions.   -  FILE PHOTO/K.V. SRINIVASAN


Matthew Hayden put fear in the minds of the fast bowlers. He would give them the charge, whack them over their head. Now, a commentator for the online cricket game, World Cricket Championship (WCC), Hayden was typically frank and direct with his views about life in the times of coronavirus.

This is a very challenging period for cricket...

These are very difficult times and cricket has a role to play, but only when there is significant advice from global experts not only about the safety and well-being of the cricketers but the entire group of people cricket brings with it. It should sit with those guidelines and requirements. And not a second before. Almost every industry is hurting. Timelines need to be pushed. Entertainment is gold right now.

What are the chances of ICC World Twenty20 happening in Australia in October?

I would think it is very slim. To put in perspective what happened in the last few months, the global economy has tanked, we have financial currencies in ruin, we have seen the number of deaths go up. I never thought I would see a time like the global financial crisis of 2008. Clearly I was wrong. This one beats that. To make a call on cricket is insignificant and disrespectful to the times we are living.

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How would you like a scenario where cricket would be played in front of vacant stands?

The fans are the biggest stakeholders in the game. With the business hat on, hand on heart, if health was uncompromised, matches can be played before empty stands. Putting a playing hat on, it is gutting. You want to play in fans, give them joy, not see them behind laptops and television. Australia will always compete hard. But there should not be anything above humanity. 

Can you tell us about this online game called the World Cricket Championship (WCC)?

The game of entertainment online has never been more important. Games can be played at home now. It’s a creative and liberating space.

During days when openers around the world cricket are struggling, your best opening Test pair from across teams?

David Warner took off when I ended my career and he has been brilliant ever since but for an occasional slump in form which happens to the best of us. Along with Warner, I would have Rohit Sharma opening in Tests. They would be quite a spectacle together.

How would you look at cricket where bowlers and fielders will not be allowed to use saliva on the ball?

We should take a pause before cricket can be played in conditions that were prevalent before the break happened. Not using saliva to polish the ball is ridiculous.

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