Water sports keeps Matthew Hayden on his toes

Chennai Super Kings batsman Matthew Hayden is having a blast, literally, in this Indian Premier League and feels water sports helps him unwind and maintain balance between cricket and life.

Hayden, who is a big fan of water sports, has been spending time in South Africa surfing and kayaking.

“I’m just glad to have some time out for water surfing,” Hayden said.

“During this tournament I’ve spent more time on the ocean than I have on a cricket field. I love kayaking and surfing and then if there’s a time when I like doing some fishing. I like to explore the water world,” said the burly left-hander who has clobbered bowlers to score 546 runs with five half-centuries in 11 innings.

“Apart from being a passion, it gives me an edge because in a tournament in which matches are played over half a day and are scheduled every other day, there is a lot of time spent on thinking cricket. You need to have a balance in life and surfing gives me that,” he said.

Hayden, who retired from the Australian national side this January, said life in international cricket was becoming lot more demanding and so he chose to express himself in the Twenty20 format.

“I always wanted to get back in the ring. I mean you always go back again and may be play on. For me that time was really about finishing at a time when I really wanted to get back on the top of my game and finish things off but I didn’t have the same instincts,” said the 37-year-old.

“So, Twenty 20 cricket for me has provided that opportunity to punch in on a different format. A much punchier format, something that I have really enjoyed. The constant pressure and demands of the international schedule lasts 10 months which is a long programme. So, to me, IPL is an opportunity to fight on. I enjoy my cricket. I love to score runs and be as consistent as possible.”

Asked the secret behind his heavy scoring, Hayden said, “To my mind, I have created an opportunity where I have enjoyed my off the field stuff. I have been doing loads of surfing.

“It is an enormous passion of mine so to be able to do that and play cricket alongside is pleasant.”

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