Test great Matthew Hayden says the Brisbane Heat must prioritise winning a Big Bash tournament over being an entertaining team. Picture: Getty Images
Test great Matthew Hayden says the Brisbane Heat must prioritise winning a Big Bash tournament over being an entertaining team. Picture: Getty Images

Hayden torches Heat’s tactics

BATTING great Matthew Hayden believes the time has come for the Brisbane Heat to stop hiding behind the entertainers tag and start winning silverware.

Former Heat batsman Hayden will come out of retirement for this weekend's bushfire charity relief match.

As a former Kingaroy boy and a farmer's son he is acutely aware of the challenges faced by rural Australia with fires and droughts.

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"Australia has borrowed its 'never say die' spirit from the bush,'' Hayden said. "We are a feast and famine nation but we are a nation of great hearted people.''

The Heat, whose sole Big Bash title win was seven years ago, were major disappointments this season following several stunning batting implosions and Hayden feels their batting needs more fibre.

 

"I feel the Brisbane Heat has masqueraded their performances behind entertainment and have not taken responsibility from the batting side of it for actually winning the game,'' Hayden said.

"Players and punters want to see Brisbane winning a competition. They have got fantastic personnel and a really solid foundation. They are not winning because they are going around and saying, 'we are going to hit a couple of sixes and be entertaining'. Yeah, that's terrific, if you win the game.''

The Heat have re-signed exciting batsman Tom Banton. Picture: Getty Images
The Heat have re-signed exciting batsman Tom Banton. Picture: Getty Images

The Heat on Wednesday announced the retention of boom English youngster Tom Banton, who scored two hurricane 50s for the Heat and this week scored 18 when he made his 50-over debut for England.

Hayden endorsed the move but said Banton must also learn how to learn to ice a game.

"He was a dynamic player wasn't he? He really lifted the roof but I will say it again … entertainment is one thing, but winning a tournament," he said.

"Asking people to turn up week after week at the Gabba .. they want to see the Heat win and they do that by playing hard-nosed competitive cricket.

"Be ruthless in those competitive moments. I don't care whether it is a Test match or a backyard game''.

Hayden will join old teammates like Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne and Justin Langer in Saturday's game and has particularly admired the performance of Langer since he took over as national coach.

"Justin has done a remarkable job. Just the simple basic principles like giving your best effort and when it is tough you think for yourself. When the chips are down you support each other. "It is Justin's way of life. JL represents the average bloke who has a go in life''.