Not easy to adjust, says Hayden


Cricket Australia (CA) wants their players to adjust to UAE conditions for the forthcoming home series against Pakistan in August and September, but according to the former Australian opener, Mathew Hayden, the adjustment was not so easy some ten years ago.
Hayden was a member of the touring party which played two Test matches in Sharjah against Pakistan in 2002. Speaking exclusviely over his mobile from Australia, he said, “my understanding was that they changed the rules post-game to ensure that if it did get to that temperature again the game would be postponed. Whilst I found it challenging – incredibly challenging – I don’t think these conditions were at all conducive to playing”.
“You can’t have conditions that render super fit athletes incapable of bowling more than 12 bowls in a row. I think there has to be a common sense element to playing conditions, and certainly in that case the conditions were almost impossible. The game only went 2 days, however if the game were to go more than that I believe there could have been some serious illnesses. It virtually took me 3 weeks to get over it, and I wasn’t 100% for about 6 months”, he added. Interestingly, apart from two umpires, Steve Bucknor and S. Venkatraghvan, Hayden was on the field throughout the match, either batting or fielding.
Despite the heat and the decision to start the one-dayers at 6pm – meaning the scheduled finish is 1.45am – continue to be an issue with the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA). The two delegates from CA and ACA will be in UAE to study the situation.
Former Pakistani captain, Asif Iqbal, who has hosted several ODIs’ in Sharjah for twenety years, also echoed Hayden views. “I disagree with the justifying and reasoning for playing cricket or any other sport in conditions where a player issuffering so much. Strange to hear a bowler is bowling a two over spell only ! It is just not cricket”, he said from UK.