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Matt's field of dreams

IN front of a crowd of peers, colleagues and media, Matthew Hayden stands up to talk about his career.

But he doesn't talk about jumping on the front foot and smashing balls out of the park. He hardly even mentions cricket balls.

Instead he recounts a story of his new life.

A life where sitting around a fire pit in his garden, he begins to feel hungry.

He doesn't call for a pizza or pack the family in the car to head off to a restaurant. He doesn't even go inside to use the kitchen.

He wanders a few metres away to the chicken coop and grabs a couple of freshly laid eggs.

Next, he wanders into his garden and grabs a handful of herbs right off the plant.

Then he throws these all into a frypan and cooks an omelette over the fire.

Hunger sated.

This is the new Matt Hayden and the one we will see in his new television series, Matthew Hayden's Home Ground.

The international cricket star, who retired from the sport last year, has put away his baggy green cap and replaced it with some baggy green overalls and moved to a life on the farm.

The six-part series centres on Matt's life on the other side of the stumps.

“Stepping off the field, it wasn't gladiatorial, and the messages we sold on the field. It was more about the family, how much I love fishing and cooking, how much I love surfing and travel and the ocean,” he explained.

“I have really enjoyed the other elements and passions in my life.”

These are all things that will be covered in Home Ground as Matt journeys back to his home town, exploring what home means to him as he works to make his ideal reality.

Having retired from the Australian cricket team last year, Matt is on a quest to achieve a more self-sufficient, sustainable and enriched lifestyle for his family as he discovers what is best to grow and graze to live the good life.

“I want my kids to be able to look at our property and be able to go ‘that's where eggs come from, that's where you get zucchini and eggplants and corn',” he said.

“I don't know what that is going to mean to my kids right now. They may not be able to explain it to me, but I will never take for granted that I was taught that connection with the land by my parents and grandparents.”

Along with sharing that passion with his children, he is also excited about sharing it with the rest of Australia.

“I'm not telling people how to suck eggs. I'm saying if you want to come along, this is what I am doing. It's a bit different,” he said.

His new career as a television personality is out of the blue, but Matt is extremely happy with the turn of events.

“Every day, the man in the mirror looks at me and goes ‘are you inspired today?' and the answer is ‘yeah'. I'm living what I want to do,” he said.

Matthew Hayden's Home Ground premieres on the Lifestyle Channel.



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