Never thought I would be sitting inside Pakistan dressing room: Matthew Hayden

Matthew Hayden has been roped in as Pakistan's batting consultant for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 which is being held in the United Arab Emirates.

Matthew Hayden (Image Credit: Twitter)
By Arnab Mukherji | Oct 21, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Legendary Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden has admitted that he had never imagined sitting inside the Pakistan dressing room, having been roped in as a batting consultant for the nation’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 campaign. The tournament is being held in the United Arab Emirates. Hayden termed an opportunity to share his knowledge with players from Pakistan as a great privilege. The Australian believes that the players are calm ahead of an intense clash against India on October 24.

”It’s a great honour and privilege to share my cricket knowledge with Pakistan players. I must confess that I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be sitting inside the Pakistan dressing room. All the great battles over the years that we have had as nations…the mood is high and the relationships within the team are strong, players seem very happy, very relaxed in spite of the obvious pressures, in particular, the pressure starting with our first match. The camp is strong and solid and feels good and it’s a great privilege to be a part of it,” said Hayden in the press conference.

“The pressure is only as much as you allow it to be”

The former Australian cricketer compared the rivalry shared between Pakistan and India, as being somewhat similar to England versus Australia. Hayden however believes that the former’s matches drive the most interest.

”For Australia, it’s England as the old guard I would say aI mean you could argue that England at various stages we have been ruled by the kingdom of the UK and cricket wouldn’t have been on our shores if it hadn’t been for that but also throughout our various elements of the game that I have been a part of nothing matches the rivalry between India and Pakistan. There is an obvious pressure as there is obvious pressure if you are playing England if you are an Australian,” he stated.

“The pressure is only as much as you allow it to be. Your preparation is there, your experience is there, your opportunity now becomes very history-making. We can present all the stats do all our homework and research but nothing can replace what would be the stat that we all write about, dream about and coach about and commentate on which will be the event itself. I have sensed that players are ready for the opportunity and there is calmness around our group,” added Hayden.

“We have a world cup to win”

While the Australian cricketer is not assured of an extension of his current role with Pakistan, he didn’t rule out considering a long-term opportunity with the team.

”In my life, I have never thought too much ahead. I know that seems strange because from a cricket point of view I never felt like I was first selected. My wife and I would often talk about what we are going to do on the next tour but we have never looked (too far). I don’t have an answer for long term. Short-term, I don’t have an answer but what my point is that I do have the answer for now and how I am feeling right now and what I can contribute in a small space of time which I am excited about and I am looking forward to and already I feel like I have already felt like I have made some lovely connections with the boys and the group in general and I am excited about growing that potential and opportunity. And that if that leads with wisdom to other potential engagements then that will be considered at that time. Right now though we have a world cup to win and right now we have the first game of the tournament to also win so my heart will be focused on that, not the future.”

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