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Edward Liddle's Biographies of Irish Cricketers
Mornantu Hayward
  • Born 6 March 1977 Uitenhage, Cape Province, South Africa
  • Educated Daniel Pienaar Technical High School, Uitenhage
  • Occupation Professional Cricketer
  • Debut 6 May 2007 v Somerset at Taunton
  • Cap Number 657
  • Style Right hand bat, right arm fast.
  • Teams Eastern Province, Worcestershire, Middlesex, Hampshire, Derbyshire, Warriors, Dolphins, South Africa

Nantie Hayward always looked very much a fast bowler. Tall, sandy haired and broad shouldered, his approach to the wicket was threatening and his pace considerable. He could bowl a devastating yorker, which, added to a vicious, rearing bouncer, made him a formidable proposition for most batsmen. Yet, except on rare occasions, he fell short of top class. His speed was not always harnessed to the accuracy expected at the highest level, which meant hat he could be very expensive. Injury prone, he was also no more than an average fielder and, as a batsman, might be described, as one of the last of the genuine No 11s. While his advent to the crease usually excited spectators, as a few towering drives and a range of eccentric shots could be expected, his 150 match first class career, to the end of the English season of 2009, had brought him just 1074 runs with a solitary fifty.

In all first class matches his career figures stand at 442 wickets at 28.81 with 9 " 5 fors". These included two six wicket hauls for Eastern Province v Easterns at Kingsmead, Durban in the South African Super Series in December 1999. Having taken 6-90 in the first innings, including Phil Simmons who had made an outstanding 122, he destroyed their second innings - though Phil escaped him this time - with a career best 6-31, setting up a 9 wicket victory. Earlier in the season he had had match figures of 10-143 v Griqualand West.

He appeared for four first class counties in English cricket, as an overseas player for Worcestershire and Middlesex and as a Kolpak for Hampshire and Derbyshire. Though he had a modicum of success in his first season for Middlesex - 2004 - he managed only one match for Hampshire in 2008 and was an almost total failure for Derbyshire the following summer. Only for Worcestershire in 2003 was he a genuine force. His 67 Championship wickets made him part of a formidable pace attack. With Australian born Irish passport holder Matt Mason and injury prone Test man Kabir Ali also taking 50 wickets, Worcestershire gained promotion to the Championship's first division, not, alas - this writer being a County member - to remain there long. However he was very expensive in one day matches and "not he most sociable of cricketers" (Wisden) was somewhat of a dressing room misfit. He was not retained.

His Test career was also rather controversial, he, himself, terminating it in 2004, saying that he did not wish to play for South Africa again. There is some evidence to suggest hat he later regretted this decision but the die had been cast. He played 16 matches, taking 54 wickets at 29.79. His solitary "5 for", 5-66, came against Pakistan at Kingsmead in December 2002, when he and Ntini sliced through the visitors batting to set up an eventual 10 wicket victory. It should be noticed that Nantie's haul included Nos 7 to 10 in the batting order.

His one day form was somewhat lacklustre, partly, no doubt, because, because of his inconsistent accuracy. In all List A matches, he had - by the end of the English season of 2009 - taken 203 wickets at 27.16, while his ODI figures stood at 21 wickets at 40.85.

Thus his signing for Ireland must have always been somewhat of a risk. Unfortunately it coincided with the signing of the New Zealander Jesse Ryder, an incident best forgotten. Nantie took 7 wickets in his 5 matches at a cost of 35.00. While these figures are not disastrous, they certainly suggest that he performed below expectations. He went for an average of 5.97 an over and two three wicket hauls. The first of these, on his debut against Somerset, included two catches at deep mid wicket, not the most normal position for a bowler of real pace to his wickets. He did York Gloucestershire's opening bat, pinch hitter Ian Fisher for 8, in a match best remembered for Trent Johnston's hat trick, the ball leaving the batsman, better known for his flat, economical left arm spin, strokeless, but this was an all to rare showing of his skills.