Hayden calls time on career
MATTHEW Hayden has destroyed his final bowling attack - the powerful left-handed opener has called stumps on his illustrious career.
The big Queenslander and former Australian representative has put away his bat and announced he will not play for the Brisbane Heat in the second season of the T20 Big Bash League later this year.
The 40-year-old, who retired from Test and international cricket in 2009, played for the Heat in the inaugural eight-team, city-based BBL competition last season.
He scored 203 runs in seven matches, the most by a Heat batsman, and produced the highest innings for the franchise, a typical bludgeoning 51-ball 76 against the Hobart Hurricanes at the Gabba.
Hayden said the decision not to play for the Heat again had been a difficult one.
"It's always a struggle to let go of something that you love so much," he said. "It has been a huge part of my life for so long now - I am going to miss it."
While fans will not get to see Hayden terrorising bowling attacks this time around, he said he was sure that the popularity of the shortest version of the game would continue to grow without him.
"My passion and belief in T20 and the BBL has only been strengthened through playing in it," Hayden, who also enjoyed a spell played in the Indian Premier League for the Chennai Super Kings, said. "This is what cricket needs and it will continue to grow and bring great benefits to the game."
Although Hayden has retired, he will still play a role for the Heat - in the board room.
Heat coach Darren Lehmann praised Hayden for his commitment and dedication in helping to establish the team last year.
"It was a mighty effort from everyone involved and Haydos certainly did not shirk from anything that was asked of him," he said. "You don't replace a player like Haydos easily, but we had considered this eventuality and there are a few options I think we can explore."
The Heat has signed 15 players so far and must complete its 18-strong roster by November 30.
One of the remaining spots will be filled from this year's T20 Challenge, a four-team competition played in October and November featuring Queensland Bulls, Grade, Country, Warehouse and invited guest players.