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Hayden visits temple city

Former Australia cricketer Matthew Hayden was in Madurai to promote the inaugural edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) here on Tuesday.

TURNING TRADITIONAL: Matthew Hayden in a dhoti at the Meenakshi temple in Madurai

In a chat with The Hindu on his way to the Meenakshi temple, Hayden spoke about the importance of the TNPL in unearthing new talent across Tamil Nadu.

“The tournament will give young players a chance to showcase their skills apart from rubbing shoulders with experienced players,” Hayden said.

“Michael Bevan as coach or Brett Lee as mentor will help them grow as cricketers. Players from the age of 16 to 25 should benefit the most from this league,” he added.

“Most of these players may end up playing for Chennai Super Kings when they get back into the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2018,” he felt.

“It is up to the player to develop and become a quality Test player, like David Warner, Virat Kohli or a Ravichandran Ashwin, who all began their careers with the IPL, and not just stop with the shortest format,” he said.

Hayden also visited Velammal College as well as the Thiagarajar College and interacted with the players and the members of the Madurai District Cricket Association (MDCA).

Hayden will travel to Tirunelveli on Wednesday before leaving for Australia on Thursday. Hayden will be back in Chennai in September for the TNPL.

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