Pakistan batting coach Matthew Hayden has regretted that he had never visited the country during his playing days and urged Australia to come and experience the cricket in the Asian nation while embracing the culture after Cricket Australia confirmed the tour of the country next year.
As reported by Cricbuzz, Hayden said: “I feel that it’s incredibly important that the country now embraces Pakistan as a full member nation, that it allows and supports its incredible fan base, really like no other apart from India, similar sort of passion and commitment to the great game of cricket, that it allows itself – the Australian unit – to come and enjoy the hospitality of Pakistan, to enjoy the overall sense of cricket and the experience of Pakistan.”
He continued, “It’s certainly the one regret that I have in my career is not being able to travel to Pakistan as an international cricketer, in spite of having such great and unique challenges, one of which is as a head coach here right now in Saqlain, who’s a wonderful spin bowler.
And then a myriad of fast bowlers who naturally I would have loved to have played in a home environment, Waqar and Wasim, Shoaib, just fast bowling like no other. As an opening batsman, that’s what you want to try and face, and to not have the opportunity to do that in Pakistan is a regret of mine. Embrace it, be a part of the future of Pakistan Cricket, and it’s a hugely important part of the cricket community. I’m sure that they are looking forward to traveling to Pakistan.”
The coach also remembered his former Australia cricketer, late Dean Jones, who was associated with Pakistan cricket in various capacities.
He said, “I would like to mention Dean Jones, who gave a lot of himself to Pakistan cricket, and his closing words to me I can hear in my ears was “These are my boys. This is something I’m so passionate about.”
Hayden added, “He was just beautifully connected to Pakistan Cricket. May he rest in peace now, knowing that fact that he’s left a legacy within this team, which will last not only this generation but generations to come. If I can add any value to those closing comments from Deano, that would be my greatest honor.”
He is also hopeful of taking Pakistan to T20 World Cup 2021 glory, as the Men in Green are set to lock horns against Pakistan in the second semi-final on Thursday (November 11) in Dubai.
Hayden signed off by saying, “From Pakistan cricket point of view, I feel that as a nation that loves cricket as much as it does, and as focused so heavily on cricket, and also to have tournaments including the ones that I was a part of canceled for numerous reasons, it’s never more important, and the awareness is heightened that out of this great nation we’ve got a squad of players here that are ready to perform and are ready to take on not only the semifinals but should we, inshallah, get beyond that, the finals.”