Wednesday, November 24, 2010

An Interview with Matt Hayden

Exclusive FishMax Interview

He might have caught an Order of Australia earlier this year, but Matthew Hayden still comes across as the down to earth Brisbane boy he really is and although he has officially retired from representative cricket, he is still very active in the game, playing again this year for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL and working with Cricket Australia in raising the profile of indigenous cricket. Earlier this year he captained the Indigenous All-stars XI against the ACA Masters XI as part of the Imparja Cup held in Alice Springs, Northern Territory.

Recently, this powerful and aggressive left-hander, described by Ricky Ponting and others as the greatest ever opener for Australia, took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few of our questions.

Matthew told us that his earliest fishing memories are going after Whiting with his dad when he was a very young boy, and ever since, he has really enjoyed fishing for a good feed. Of course, he’s accutely senstive about the sestainability of our natural resources, and like all good amatuer fishermen, never takes home more than he needs.

Matthew of course is famous for his cooking, having released 2 cookbooks and even reportedly taking time out on international tours to cook up a meal for his team mates.

“My Prawn Salad recipe is definitely one of my seafood favourites” Matthew told us. “I hope your readers like it too”. (Next week on Fishmax: Matt's Udon Prawn Salad Recipe).

And while Matt’s happy to talk about things like his favourite fishing spot on NZ’s Tongariro River upper region (chasing Wild Rainbow Trout)  one of the things he is little more reticent about is his much publicized at the time, brush with the might of the ocean off North Stradebroke Island. In 2000, the boat Matt was skippering flipped and sank trying to cross the North Stradie Bar. Matt, Fellow cricketer Andrew Simmons and another friend, took an hour to swim to shore, battling currents, crashing waves. “Needless to say, we lived to tell the story” says Matt. He learned his lesson though, and is now a staunch advocate of PFDs, encouraging the skipper to put one on and lead by example.

Matt is definitely one to stand by  his mates. He was more than happy to give his good friends Dan Trotter and Dan Burgess a plug - when asked how often he gets out fishing, he responded “ Not often enough,  so I follow my favourite fishing mates  ‘The 2 Dans’ for the scoop on what’s happening where – and just dream a little.”

And finally, Matthew’s response to your question about the most memorable fish he’s ever caught, really says a lot about the nature man and what’s important to him. “I’ve caught many over the years but none more memorable than the one that ‘hooked’ my son Thomas for life after catching our first fish together off the rocks on Stradbroke Is. Bream... God love em!”

Words: Stevo Perry Pics: Matthew Hayden’s Personal Albums

Next week on FishMax: Matt's Udon Prawn Salad Recipe.