The Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) has roped in former Australian opening batsman Mathew Hayden for a three-day batting clinic which is likely to be held before the start of the domestic season.
UPCA secretary Rajeev Shukla told The Indian Express that Hayden’s services has been roped in to help the batsmen of the state which has traditionally been known for producing bowlers. It is learnt that Hayden was approached by his former IPL team-mate and India and UP cricketer Suresh Raina.
“UP has always been the state for bowlers. We gave the maximum number of bowlers to the country in the past few years. Now we want to strengthen our batting line-up and as Hayden was available, we requested him. His expertise will help our boys to sharpen their techniques and mental approach. We will select good batsmen for Ranji and various age groups and they will be called for the camp in Greater Noida before October,” Shukla said.
It will be the first time that UPCA has roped in an international cricketer from outside India. However, it will be interesting to see how the UP players tackle Hayden’s accent. Language has been a barrier for many cricketers but the UPCA says there will be a translator.
Shamshad replaces Prasad
“We have Rizwan Shamshad, whom we have appointed coach for the forthcoming season,” Shukla said. “He will be there with the boys. I think there is no harm in having Hayden, UPCA is always looking for experts, be it Indian international cricketer or foreign players.”
Former UP batsman Shamshad will replace Venkatesh Prasad, who’s contract was not renewed by the UPCA. The 42-year-old batsman has played 108 first-class games and scored 7,018 runs.
Meanwhile, for the first time, UPCA will be hosting the Deodhar Trophy, which is scheduled to be played in January 2016. “The venues have not been decided but we have plenty of options now. There are five to six cities which can host these games,” Shukla said.