Hayden calls it quits
Poor form prompts Australian opener to retire
Last Updated: January 14, 2009 9:52am
Hayden and family on the 'Gabba outfield
Australian batsman Matthew Hayden has retired from international and domestic cricket with immediate effect.
"I am retiring from cricket, but not from life."
Matthew Hayden Quotes of the week
He will, however, see out the remaining two years of his contract with the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.
The opener, 37, made the announcement at an emotional press conference in Brisbane on Tuesday afternoon.
In his international career, Hayden scored 8,625 runs at an average of 50.72 in 103 Tests.
The Queenslander made 30 centuries, including 380 against Zimbabwe in 2003, which briefly stood as the world record Test score.
He also enjoyed success in one-day internationals, plundering 6,133 runs at 43.80 in 161 appearances and was part of Australia's World Cup winning teams in 2003 and 2007.
The decision comes after he was dropped from Australia's one-day and Twenty20 squads for the current series against South Africa, having struggled during the 2008-09 domestic summer, scoring just 149 runs at 16.55 in five Tests.
Hayden had originally hoped to push on for the tour to South Africa in February and the Ashes in England later this year, but instead has brought the curtain down on his 15-year international career.
'Lived the dream'
Flanked by Australia captain Ricky Ponting, Hayden told the press conference that he was ready to move on to the next stage of his life.
"Today, I am announcing my retirement from competitive cricket, effective immediately," he said.
"I have lived the dream and loved every minute of representing Australia and Queensland - there's zero regrets when it comes to my cricket performance.
"I feel privileged to have been in a position where I've had longevity because I've experienced the enormity of the experience in the longer term.
"I am retiring from cricket, but not from life.
"I'm humbled by my background and I've been humbled by the fact that I've got so much support.
"That's why I can feel so proud of what the team has achieved over the period of time that I've contributed to it.
"I hope that in some small way that I've been able to leave a legacy into that culture.
"I can freely walk away from Ricky and the team knowing that the custodians of the importance of the fabric of our culture are well and truly harnessed."
Hayden is now looking forward to enjoying his favourite pastimes - fishing, boating and cooking - and intends to throw himself into programmes to promote cricket among indigenous Australians and the McGrath Foundation.
He thanked his 'brothers of the baggy green' for their support and credited the culture of the Australian team for its success over the past decade and more.
Cricket Australia chairman Jack Clarke paid credit to Hayden, declaring him to be 'one of the greatest ever players to pull on the baggy green.'
"To open the batting with an average over 50 in 103 Test matches puts him among the all-time greats of the game," Clarke said.
"Matthew was an integral part of the most successful era in Australian cricket history.
"It would be an interesting task if the team of the century was to be selected today to rate Matthew against Bill Ponsford and Arthur Morris."