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Hayden dismisses retirement plans, says good enough to bat on

Melbourne, Sep 28 (UNI) While Shaun Marsh and Shane Watson are pressing hard for a place in the national side, opener Matthew Hayden said he has no plans to retire from One-day cricket even though the Australian selectors prepare to discuss the veteran opener's future in the shorter game.

Hayden's tenure in the national One-day side has come under increasing scrutiny, with Shaun Marsh and Shane Watson having submitted compelling cases to be the opening pair in the run to the 2011 World Cup.

While the burly left-hander remains the first-choice opener, national selectors Andrew Hilditch, Jamie Cox, David Boon and Merv Hughes are keen to consult him on the best way to usher in the next generation.

Next month, Hayden will turn 37 but he asserted that he is far from being a spent force and said he would still be part of the Australian One-day team till the time he is performing.

''The big thing is I haven't lost my passion for One-day cricket and while I'm performing there, I'll keep playing it,'' Hayden was qouted as saying by 'The Herald Sun'.

''The significant part of my decision is whether Matthew Hayden is affecting the team negatively in the run to the World Cup? ''I don't see that being a consideration yet.

''I'm as motivated now as I've ever been. That's really driving my insatiable appetite for runs,'' he added.

Marsh and Watson have forged a formidable partnership, posting 70-plus stands in three of their first six innings together.

The 25-year-old Marsh, son of former Test vice-captain Geoff, has been a revelation, averaging 47.57 in his first eight digs in the international One-day arena and the left-hander also emerged a great force in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

But Hayden has also been in imperious form. He has failed just once in his past 28 One-day innings - a block which includes four hundreds and seven half-centuries - and he is the ICC One-day player of the year.

Australian coach Tim Nielsen said the national selectors planned to sit down with Hayden to gauge his plans.

''The selectors will sit down with him and work out where he's moving over the next 12 months and how he'd like to go about that,'' Nielsen said.

Hayden, who averages 43.81 from 161 one-dayers, said his advancing years had not eroded his batting.

''Everyone is kind of expecting me to fall over and to be honest I don't feel like that at all,'' he said.

''I feel I'm hitting the ball as well as I ever have. I'll know when the time is right to walk away,'' Hayden added.


Story first published: Sunday, September 28, 2008, 12:32 [IST]
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