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Matthew Hayden is here

CHENNAI: Matthew Hayden arrived here from Australia on Thursday morning. The former Australian opener is among the overseas stars of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

“Hayden was feeling a little tired after the long journey. He will join practice on Friday morning,” said CSK manager Russell Radhakrishnan.

Hayden opened with success for CSK in the initial stages of the IPL last season before joining the Australian team.

CSK had practice sessions at Chepauk (in the morning) and IC-Guru Nanak (on the centre wicket).

“The team will fly to Durban from Johannesburg on April 9. The Super Kings will train at Durban before the competition begins on April 18. One cannot say Durban that will be our base. Given the nature of the competition, no team will be able to have a base,” said Russell.

V.B. Chandrasekar, who heads CSK’s cricketing operations, said all-rounder Andrew Flintoff would join the team around April 15 in South Africa after completing his England duties in the Caribbean.

“Michael Hussey will miss the first nine games of the league. He will join the squad in the second week of May,” said Chandrasekar.

The CSK squad for the IPL is expected to be announced on Friday.

“Initially, we would be carrying more players with us for the camp in South Africa before pruning the squad. The idea is to enable the cricketers get familiar with the conditions so that they are ready as and when we need them,” said Chandrasekar.

Given the IPL schedule, CSK might have to call on replacements as the competition progresses.

Meanwhile, CSK officials were tight-lipped over the fitness of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The mood, however, is one of optimism. — Special Correspondent

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