| HAYDEN: Staking claim
Brisbane: Matthew Hayden is hoping the ICC Champions Trophy will give him the chance to stake a claim for a place in Australia’s squad for the World Cup in South Africa next year.
Hayden, 30, won the Allan Border Medal as Australia’s Cricketer of the Year in February, scoring 1,391 Test runs in 2001 at an average of 63.23.
But the left-hander, who averages 49.04 in overall Tests, has been less impressive in the one-day game and knows he will have to perform well in the Champions Trophy which starts in Sri Lanka on September 12.
“I know I have a role to play and that there is confidence in me to do that,” Hayden said at Australia’s training camp in Brisbane on Friday.
Hayden, who averages 33.69 in his 37 ODIs, is part of the 14-man squad which leaves Sydney on Monday for a tri-series in Nairobi against Kenya and Pakistan before moving on to Sri Lanka.
“We’ve been on a break for a while now — probably the longest we’ve had off in a decade — and it is great to be back in cricket time.
“We’re starting what is going to be a nine-month campaign and it’s going to be important to get our momentum going.”
Australia dumped Steve and Mark Waugh from their one-day side for the South Africa series in March 2002 and appointed Ricky Ponting as captain as Hayden blasted his way to an average of 42.33 in six matches.