Australia drop Hayden from squad and turn to youth

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The Independent Online

Matthew Hayden's international future is in some doubt after he was dropped from the Australia squad for the Twenty20 and one-day internationals against South Africa. Hayden has been struggling for runs for some time, prompting the Australia selectors to turn their attention to New South Wales batsman David Warner and Queensland's Ryan Harris.

That leaves Hayden's long-term future in doubt but the 37-year-old will not make any quick decisions. "My immediate future is to go back home to my family and to the people who love me the most and enjoy this time," he said. "It's been a pretty long last four months. It's very difficult to take a breath and get my mind around what my future does hold. I'm going to take the time to do that. There's a Shield game I want to play. I want to take my time and make a good decision moving forward."

Hayden said he could understand the decision to leave him out. "I'm paid to get runs and when you are short of runs then you have to start asking questions," he said. Hayden will now return to Queensland, and believes playing for his club team will help him decide his international future. "If mates were telling me, 'mate it's time to go' I would certainly listen to that. But my mates aren't saying that. Ultimately it will be my call to look at the bloke that talks to yourself every day in the mirror and say 'mate it is time to go or saddle up, pull your socks up and get on with it you've got South Africa and you've got the Ashes'."

National selection panel chairman Andrew Hilditch said the squads were selected with an eye to the ICC World Twenty20 later this year and the 2011 World Cup. Hayden, a veteran of 103 Tests, is certainly in the winter of his long Australian career and Hilditch said that was the key factor in his omission – rather than his form during the recent Test series against South Africa when he averaged just 19.50.

"The omission of Matthew Hayden from the Twenty20 and Commonwealth Bank Series squads is not a reflection on his performances in the recent Test series but rather a strategic decision made by the national selection panel as we plan for these signature events," he said. "His possible selection for the upcoming tour of South Africa will be discussed as with all players when we select a squad after the round of interstate matches at the beginning of February.

Australia Twenty20 squad: R T Ponting (capt), M E K Hussey (vc), D J Hussey, B Hilfenhaus, J Hopes, N Bracken, B J Haddin, S Marsh, S Tait, D Warner, R Harris, C White, N Hauritz. One-day international squad: R T Ponting (capt), M J Clarke (vc), B J Haddin, J Hopes, N Bracken, S Marsh, M E K Hussey, D Hussey, N Hauritz, B Hilfenhaus, C White, S Tait, P M Siddle.

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