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When Matthew Hayden’s cookbook made him the butt of a joke

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Former Australia speedster Merv Hughes, recalling the funniest crowd incidents on the Keeping it Real podcast, spoke of the time a fan in Sydney made fun of Matthew Hayden over his cookbook.

The former Australia opener published The Matthew Hayden Cookbook in 2004, and its sequel two years later in 2006. Little did he know that the books would cause him much consternation among fans.

“I still reckon one of the better ones was to Matthew Hayden,” Hughes, an Australian selector between 2005 and 2010, said. “He put it [cookbook] out just before Christmas, as you do as a good bookseller. He was playing the Test match in Sydney so people had a little bit of time to digest it, probably 10 days after Christmas.

“He went out batting in the first innings, and the Queensland-New South Wales relationship’s not as bad as New South Wales-Victoria, but [it’s] getting there. So he goes out to bat, he gets out and he’s coming in, and he’s just walked in. It was pretty early, he just came in [with] a big smile on his face and walks through. [I’m like], ‘What’s going on here?’. He normally throws the bat and carries on, but that didn’t happen, he just walked into the room.

“When he came back out, [I asked] ‘What happened there?’. So when he was coming off, [someone from the crowd said], ‘Hey Hayden, you are a crap batsman and that recipe on page 186, the curry chicken, tastes like s**t.’ He went in and had a look in his cookbook, and on page 186, it was the chicken f****ng curry.”

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