Chennai: It’s time to give something back to the city which has given him so much. Former Australian opener and present Chennai Super Kings star bat Matthew Hayden has decided to open a cricket academy in Chennai where he always excelled as a cricketer.
To establish the academy, Hayden has sought help from Indian great Rahul Dravid and former Kiwi captain and current Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming.
"About a decade back, when I came here to practise on turning tracks, I told myself standing in an empty Chepauk stadium that I would score a century for Australia one day," Hayden told a leading Indian newspaper. "I did that, and now this is a way of giving something back to the city from where I have got so much."
Hayden also said that in his cricket academy, stress will also be given on quality education. "We should be able to understand that the kids who will be training in the academy may not go on to become cricketers in life. Education is something they can always fall back on."
Hayden informed that he had a chat with Rahul Dravid regarding the setting up of the academy during the IPL in South Africa a couple of months back. "Rahul Dravid has those values in him which I can also identify with … and I would surely love to have him with me."
Speaking about the inspiration behind the project, the burly opener revealed that it was his former captain Steve Waugh whose charity work always motivated him to give something back to the society. "I have always been inspired by the way Steve worked for Udayan in Kolkata. Similarly, I am also looking forward to do something for Chennai."