Matthew Hayden, a renowned Australian opener who has played in two of the most pure formats, is celebrating his birthday today. Hayden made a career out of bullying strike bowlers as half of the most established Australian opening tandem in white-ball cricket in the early 2000s. During his legendary career, the 90s stalwart was one of the few players to champion the game’s shortest format.
The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) maverick made waves with his remarkable exploits for the MS Dhoni-led side despite just playing two seasons in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Hayden debuted the legendary mongoose willow, which was a perfect mix of a cricket and baseball bat, in the 2010 season of the cash-rich competition. Haydos was able to make the most of the bottom hand thanks to the willow’s long handle and reduced striking surface. Thala Dhoni, on the other hand, has never been a fan of the world-famous mongoose bat.
Hayden confessed to Rupha Ramani during an interactive session hosted by Chennai Super Kings that Dhoni previously counselled the Australian opener against using the mongoose willow in competitive matches. “I’ll give you anything in life if you don’t use this bat,” Dhoni said. During the live session, Hayden said, “Please don’t use this bat.” He continued, “I’ve been using this bat for almost a year and a half, and when it hits the centre of the bat, it goes 20 metres further.”
For the four-time IPL champions, the legendary Australian opener amassed 1107 runs in 32 matches. Hayden won the prestigious Orange Cap at the end of the 2009 season. In 2010, the former Australian opener made his farewell IPL debut at the Dr. DY Patil Sports Academy against the Mumbai Indians (MI).