Matthew Hayden has urged Cricket Australia to not stand in the way of Cameron Green should IPL suitors throw millions of dollars his way.
Green, the 23-year-old who was described as the best since Ricky Ponting by Greg Chappell before he made his Test debut, made a huge splash over the past week on Indian soil to mount a compelling argument to be called into Australia’s T20 World Cup squad.
The rising all-rounder, who was left out of the T20 World Cup squad and encouraged by captain Aaron Finch to bide his time, made the most of his “fortuitous” opportunity at the top of the order, belting two half centuries from three knocks to leave everyone in awe.
Following a marvellous series against New Zealand, Green belted 61 in the first T20 in India and backed it up with an incredible 21-ball 52.
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His clean hitting caught the eye of two of cricket’s greats Hayden and former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar, with the duo believing he would garner the interest of franchises in the IPL.
“He hasn’t been picked up in the IPL but I’ll tell you what, bowling all-rounders, they are gold dust. Gold dust,” Hayden said in commentary at the start of his innings in the third T20.
“Especially if you can play like this, bang straight out of the middle,” he added, as Green hit another ball to the ropes.
It was at that point Gavaskar, the former opener, said there were whispers Cricket Australia were apprehensive about Green playing in the IPL for fear of the star all-rounder breaking down.
“Well, there’s the auction in a couple of months from now,” Gavaskar said.
“Apparently, and maybe Haydos you can tell me (otherwise), Cricket Australia didn’t want him to (play) because he had a few injuries, they didn’t want him for the IPL and that’s why they didn’t give him the certificate diagnosis.”
Hayden, who dominated attacks for years at the top of the order in all forms of cricket, slammed the suggestion, saying players had to develop in different conditions and said if he was barred from playing it would be to the detriment of Australian cricket.
“Well it’s nonsense if that’s the case because you’ve got to learn how to play the game,” he said.
“And you got to be playing it.
“You can’t play it in the nets, you play out in the middle under ground situation like this. Expose yourself to as many opportunities.
“We used to see it Sunny back in our day playing County Cricket, playing a volume of cricket to get the muscle memory to learn how to play in situations and different conditions.”
Gavaskar responded by saying they were whispers, but sympathised with Cricket Australia knowing how bright his future promises to be.
“That’s what I heard. I’m not saying that that’s the reality. But that’s what I’ve heard, and understandably so because he’s such a fabulous prospect Cameron Green,” the former Indian captain said.
“He’s such a fabulous prospect that is understandable if indeed Cricket Australia have said to him, just take it easy. That’s totally understandable because he’s going to have so many years of productive cricket for Australia, in all formats of the game.”
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For more than two years the Australian team have been managing Green’s workload, particularly in the Test arena.
But with a T20 World Cup, jam packed home summer that leads into a tour of India, Ashes defence in England followed by a ODI World Cup and another Australian summer, a mountain of cricket is on the horizon for Green.
Throw in the potential of an IPL season, where Green could warrant a deal worth an estimated $3 million, and it is easy to understand why CA could be concerned by his workload.
More pressing is the body of work that Green is producing on the field, which has many calling for the prodigious all-rounder to be called into Australia’s T20 World Cup squad.
Former Indian coach Ravi Shastri joined the chorus of pundits impressed by Green, saying he had given Australia’s selectors a headache.
“He’s put a spanner in the works for the Australian selectors the way he’s batted,” Shastri said in commentary.
“This guy could be a terrific addition.”
Green has been kept in Australia’s T20 squad for the upcoming T20s against the West Indies.
His retention comes despite the return of David Warner, who is set to open the batting alongside under pressure captain Aaron Finch.