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T20 World Cup 2021 | Dean Jones left a legacy within Pakistan team which will last for generations to come, says Matthew Hayden

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Matthew Hayden stated that Dean Jones has left a legacy within the Pakistan cricket team

| Courtesy - Getty

T20 World Cup 2021 | Dean Jones left a legacy within Pakistan team which will last for generations to come, says Matthew Hayden

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SportsCafe Desk

11/10/2021

Ahead of Pakistan’s T20 World Cup 2021 semi-final clash against Australia on Thursday in Dubai, batting consultant Matthew Hayden hailed Dean Jones for leaving a long-lasting legacy within the Pakistan cricket team. Jones had coached Islamabad United and Karachi Kings in Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Pakistan have been quite a force at the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021, having won each of their five Super 12s matches to march into the semi-finals. They will play Australia in the first semifinal of the tournament in Dubai on Thursday.

The Babar Azam led side has benefited immensely with the presence of Matthew Hayden and Vernon Philander who were appointed as the team's batting and bowling consultants respectively before the start of the competition. Hayden however, felt that late Dean Jones left a huge impact on the team's cricket.

Jones is widely revered as one of game's finest players, commentator and coach. After a glittering playing carrer that included a 1987 World Cup triumph, Jones took to commentary and coaching and had stints at the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Islamabad United, coached by Jones, lifted the trophy in PSL’s inaugural season and the T20 league received worldwide acceptance. Jones continued coaching the team, and led them to another title win in 2018. He then took over as Karachi Kings' head coach for the fifth edition of PSL, but the tournament was halted in between due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Jones passed away in September 2020 due to a heart attack, when he was in India for IPL commentary duties.

"I want to make a special mention of my former team-mate and colleague and that is Dean Jones. He gave a lot of himself to Cricket Australia but also a lot of himself to Pakistan cricket. His closing words to me I can hear in my ears: “These are my boys and this is something I'm so passionate about,” Hayden said during a virtual media interaction.

"He was just beautifully connected to Pakistan cricket and may he rest in peace now, knowing the fact that he's left a legacy within this team which will last not only this generation but generations to come. If I can add value to those closing comments from Deano, that will be my greatest honour."

On his ongoing stint, Hayden stated that within a short period of time, he has formed a good rapport with the Pakistan players, and spoke highly of the talent within the group.

"It is obvious that I've been with the team [for] a very short time, which has meant it has been really important to have a heart connect with the players, the administrators and also the management team," Hayden said.

"I felt that has been achieved and I felt in many ways that was my individual and personal aim throughout this tournament to get a sense of the commitment of all the layers within the game and Pakistan in Pakistan. And understand one of the most beautiful things and that is that raw talent and talent is there in abundance for Pakistan cricket. And [with] right leadership and mentoring and guide, this side has got possibilities, as it has shown in five matches so far, to take on anyone."

Reflecting on Pakistan’s performance throughout the season, Hayden stated that the team handled pressure very well against India in their opening fixture, a clash he feels is comparable to the Ashes.

"The highlight and the obvious eye will go to the first game that we played here in Dubai, where we are playing tomorrow night," he said. "Just how under immense pressure...pressure that I've never understood till I was inside the dressing room and only comparable of course to England-Australia Ashes series. Just how these boys wonderfully handled [the situation] every calmly and confidently - their approach to playing such a huge match.

"I think that game really set us up for what has been a really lovely four weeks of solid work, great commitment to training and great purpose in general and a wonderful heart connect to Islam and how spirituality has played its role within the Pakistan team as a great guide and tool for everyone to come together. Very optimistic [of Pakistan's future] and I see wonderful potential."

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