Heat favouring sixes over success: Hayden
World Cup winner believes Brisbane's emphasis on entertainment is misplaced after another disappointing KFC BBL campaign
Adam Burnett in Brisbane
5 February 2020, 04:34 PM AEST
Test legend and ex-Brisbane Heat opener Matthew Hayden has criticised his former KFC BBL side for "masquerading their performances behind entertainment" at the cost of winning.
The Heat finished seventh in BBL|09 and despite securing the services of AB de Villiers and Tom Banton, it was their batting that proved a major problem, with dramatic collapses a recurring theme through their tournament.
At one point, captain Chris Lynn publicly apologised to Heat fans following a failed run chase against the Scorchers, while a few weeks later, he labelled a record-breaking collapse of 10-36 against the Renegades a "train wreck".
Lynn won two matches off his own bat but generally performed below the high bar he has set himself as one of the Big Bash's most dominant forces, while Matt Renshaw and Banton were the only other players to average 29-plus.
The Heat today announced Banton had re-signed on a two-year deal and while Hayden praised the 21-year-old Englishman as "a dynamic player that really lifted the roof", he appeared more concerned about what he perceives to be the mentality of the batting group.
"I feel that the Brisbane Heat have tended to masquerade their performances behind entertainment, and not take actual responsibility on the batting side of it and actually winning the game," the 103-Test great said.
"Punters want to see the Brisbane Heat winning a competition.
"They've got fantastic personnel … but they're just not winning the competition because I feel they're just going around saying, 'Oh we're going to hit a couple of sixes and be entertaining'. Yeah that's terrific, if you're going to win the game.
"Entertainment is one thing, but winning a tournament and asking people to turn up week-in, week-out at the Gabba, they want to see the Brisbane Heat win.
"You do that by playing hard-nosed competitive cricket, and when the chips are down you find a way to get up on the opposition.
"I don't care whether it's a Test match (or) a backyard game … you've got to compete hard and look at each other in the trenches and ask, 'Are we up for the challenge?' and move forward."
The Heat have appeared in just one finals match since they won the BBL|02 title – the leanest finals run of any of the eight teams in the tournament.
Captain Lynn insisted after their final match of the season that their modus operandi remained effective, but execution had been letting them down.
"On our day I think we're the best team in the comp," Lynn said. "We seem to either get 200 or be all out for 100."
"The games where we did score 200 we definitely did (bat smarter). It was our lack of communication (why) we fell short to those mediocre totals.
"But it's something we've definitely got to work on. It's not just batting – it's bowling, it's fielding awareness.
"There's no reason to throw our blueprint out for finals. It definitely works."
Hayden is one of a host of Australian legends turning out for Saturday's Bushfire Appeal fundraiser match, which will serve as a curtain-raiser to the BBL final at the Sydney Cricket Ground.