London, Nov.22 : Is it time for Australian opener Mathew Hayden to get sentimental about his time in the game and quit? The Telegraph certainly thinks so.
In article that has appeared in the paper, it says that though Hayden is known to come back from the brink, this time round, he needs to perhaps have a chat with his little mate (the Baggy Green) and determine the timing of his retirement.
At 37, Hayden is aware that his body is not doing what he is telling it to do. Most of his teammates are over 30 too, so the chances of one of them pulling him aside are remote. Telling a teammate that it is time is a little too close to home.
His recent performance in India was painful to watch, and his failure in both innings of the Gabba Test against New Zealand is a little bit sad.
Hayden is on record as saying that he is playing his cricket "one game at a time", but according to The Telegraph, when he is saying that sort of thing out loud, it is time for him to "have a look at sports history, get a little bit sentimental and get the hell out of there."
It further goes on to say that "Great athletes are often harshly judged - not just for their performance but also for the timing of their retirements."
Hayden, it says, is the oldest hand in a team that can only be described as ageing. He now has only two teammates under 30 - and a bunch of selectors who are unwilling to experiment with young cricketers.
The non-selection of Jason Krejza in the first Test team proves that the Australian cricket selectors will not be the ones to give Hayden a nudge. They are far too conservative to take a risk on young players.
The only bowler who excelled in India, Krejza must be wondering what more he has to do to become a regular in this struggling team.
The conservatism that has paid off so handsomely in recent seasons must soon be replaced by some experimentation. Blooding a handful of young players now is an investment in Australia's future and a good reason for a new generation of cricketers to retain their optimism.
Matthew Hayden's ideal exit time has probably passed.