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Jul 24, 2009

Matthew Hayden to setup academy in Chennai

Former Aussie opener Matthew Hayden has planned to open a youth academy in Chennai and he wants to take the help of Former Indian Skipper Rahul Dravid and his Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming in the venture.

Hayden said education would be given equal importance to cricket in the academy. "We should be able to understand that the kids who will be training in the academy may not go on to become cricketers in life. Education is something they can always fall back on," he said.

Hayden said he had spoken to Rahul Dravid about the academy when they were playing in the IPL in South Africa past this year. "Rahul Dravid has those values in him which I can also identify with and I would definitely love to have him with me."

Fleming, for his part, has previously visited Chennai to scour for vicinity talent.

Hayden said he had decided to give back to the city where he had practiced playing on turning tracks 10 years ago on Australia's 2000-01 tour to India. "About a decade back, when I came here to practise on turning tracks, I told myself standing in an blank Chepauk stadium that I would score a century for Australia one day," Hayden told the Times of India. "I did that, and now this is a way of giving something back to the city from where I have got so much."

That series, often called with the greatest of all time, was the start of Hayden's rise to amongst the all-time greats in international cricket.

His skipper then was Steve Waugh - who Hayden has always looked up to. Waugh has been concerned with charity projects in India, and most notably with Udayan in Kolkata.

"I have always been inspired by the way Steve worked for Udayan in Kolkata. Similarly, I am also looking forward to do something for Chennai," he said.

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