Former Australia opener and one of the most fearsome batsmen, Matthew Hayden has penned down an emotional note on the dire Covid-19 situation in India, the country which is recording over 400,000 cases per day and more than 4000 deaths per day for the past week.
Matthew Hayden, who was part of the commentary panel in the IPL 2021, which was suspended last week following a covid-19 outbreak in four franchises, also calls out the ‘bad press’ for constantly criticizing the Indian government as the covid patients in the country fail to get their hands on vaccines, beds and oxygen cylinders at the hospitals.
The former opener, who used to torment the Indian bowling attack, has a special place in his heart for India, especially the state of Tamil Nadu, which he considers as his “spiritual home” following his stint with the Chennai Super Kings in the first three seasons of the IPL under MS Dhoni.
Matthew Hayden writes an emotional note for India
In his recent blog, Matthew Hayden, who was last year appointed as a trade envoy for advancing business ties with India by the Australian government, writes about the love he has received from the country, and also asks the world press to not go hard at the government.
Here are excerpts from the blog:
“India is in the middle of the pandemic second wave’s battering, as never seen before. As it battles the alarming spread of the virus, the world media has spared no time in lambasting a country of a whopping 1.4 billion where the sheer numbers make the implementation and success of any public scheme a challenge,” the 49-year-old wrote.
“I have been visiting India for over a decade now and have travelled all over the country, especially Tamil Nadu which I consider my “spiritual home”. I have always had the highest respect for the leaders and public officials who are entrusted with the task of running such a diverse and vast country.
“Wherever I went, the people greeted me with love and affection, for which I remain in their debt. I can proudly claim that I have seen India up close over the years and that is why my heart bleeds to see it not only in agony at the moment, but also for the bad press that has been hurled at it by those who I am not sure spend any time here to understand India, its people and their myriad challenges.
“As a cricketer and lover of the game, I have maintained my association with the sport which has allowed me to come to India to cover the Indian Premier League (IPL). Many of my fellow countrymen have also been playing in the IPL for years.
“In this context, at a time when the world has been shutting doors on India and lambasting the Government, I thought of sharing my thoughts while in India, to give a perspective not available to those sitting thousands of miles away,” the former batsman further added.
Extracts from a heartfelt blog on India by @HaydosTweets A cricketer whose heart is even bigger than his towering physical stature. Thank you for the empathy and your affection… pic.twitter.com/h671mKYJkG
— anand mahindra (@anandmahindra) May 14, 2021
Matthew Hayden’s compatriot, Pat Cummins was the first player to come out, speak openly, and donate money for the covid-19 relief fund in India. The Kolkata Knight Riders pacer donated $50,000 for the purchase of oxygen supplies for India’s hospitals. Other cricketers and franchises soon followed.