Zen, tree-hugging antics just not cricket

Matthew HaydenI’m sorry, but this simply has to stop. What the hell is he trying to achieve? Actually, don’t answer that. There was another photo recently of him (Matthew Hayden) sitting in a zen-like position on the pitch with cameramen and groundsmen swarming around, doing their business. There, sat cross-legged and perfectly still, was a batsman who has bullied his way like a rhino on an ice-rink for the past eight or so years. It’s just a strange oxymoron: the bullish “I’m gonna stand half way down the wicket when you bowl to me. Because I can and because I scare you” attitude against the church-going self-meditating stuff.

Which reminds me. I heard once of an English player (possibly Middlesex, possibly Middlesex and England and possibly neither of the above) who did next to no preparation. Very little fannying about with nets or stretching or anything closely resembling exercise. Yet, so it is told, he scored runs at will. The only thing he’d do is play phantom balls against the wall in the dressing room, making “clicking” or “knocking” noise as he timed the invisible ball across the clutter and through the window for four. Sounds like my kind of training session…

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