Melbourne, Jan 13: Out of form Australian opener Matthew Hayden has decided to quit cricket after an outstanding international career of 15 years.
Hayden will be given a rousing farewell with a lap of the ground during the innings break at the Twenty20 match between South Africa and Australia at the Gabba on Tuesday night, FOX Sports reported.
"Today I'm announcing my retirement from representative cricket, effective immediately. I know that now is the time to move on," Hayden told reporters.
Hayden said he was proud of having been part of a great era of Australian cricket. "I've lived the dream of every kid who has ever picked up a bat and ball and wanted to wear the baggy green," he said.
"I am retiring from cricket, not from life, there is still so much that I want to achieve and contribute to the community," he said.
Hayden also said that he wanted to help promote cricket among the indigenous community and to continue his work with the McGrath Foundation.
Hayden (37), who played 103 Tests, has been mulling his decision for several days after being omitted from Australia's Twenty20 and one-day sides to play South Africa.
Hayden"s exit comes after a rugged summer in which he failed to pass 50 in five home Tests.
But he will leave the game as arguably Australia's greatest opener with a record of 8624 runs at 50.74 that seemed a moon ride away when he played just seven Tests in his first five years as a Test player.
"Matthew was an integral part of the most successful era in Australian cricket history," Cricket Australia chairman Jack Clarke said.
"It would be an interesting task if (Australia's) team of the Century was to be selected today, to rate Matthew against Bill Ponsford and Arthur Morris," he added.
Australia are understood to be undecided who will replace Hayden in the Test team, though Phil Jaques, a century-maker in his last Test against West Indies, must be given another chance if he can fully recover from a back injury.