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Haddin forewarned of his omission

Daniel Brettig

October 30, 2012

Comments: 26 | Text size: A | A

Brad Haddin celebrates after Sydney Sixers won the CLT20 final, Lions v Sydney Sixers, final, CLT20, Johannesburg, October 28, 2012
"I think this decision was made a long time ago so I was pretty content where everything was at" © AFP

Brad Haddin knew this was coming. Given the reputation for clear communication the national selection panel has developed among Australia's players over the past year, how could he not?

Though the national selector John Inverarity waited until the formal announcement of the team for the first Test of the home summer to confirm their decision to choose Matthew Wade as Australia's wicketkeeper, Haddin had been aware for some time before which way the breeze was likely to blow.

This was in keeping with the ways of Inverarity's panel. Australia's cricketers are now far better informed about where they stand, and the lack of irritation or frustration in Haddin's voice on his return to Australia was proof of that.

It helped that he had the Twenty20 Champions League trophy in tow, having demonstrated a hunger undiminished in taking the Sydney Sixers to the title. That desire will now carry Haddin into the domestic summer with New South Wales, where he will act as a mentor for the Blues while also remaining on call as Wade's back-up.

"In all honesty I think this decision was made a long time ago so I was pretty content where everything was at. I don't think it was made overnight. I think this decision was made to go this direction a long time ago," Haddin said. "I'd been around cricket long enough to know which direction things were going. My job is to get back to NSW and like everyone else enjoy Australia regaining the number one Test ranking in the world.

"Now it's just about going back and performing. I'm here if they need me, they know that. From that point of view its about performing for NSW. [Team performance manager] Pat Howard has been good through this whole process during the last six months. I've known exactly where I stand, from my point of view it's just making sure my game keeps improving and going in the direction that it is at the moment."

Wade and Haddin have been frequent training partners over the past 18 months, and Haddin offered no ill will towards the younger man, who has surpassed him as Australia's first choice gloveman in each of the three formats, one at a time.

"He deserves his opportunity and he's played well since he's come into the Australian team," Haddin said. "I wish all the boys luck. It's going to be a massive series against South Africa. With a bit of luck the result at the end of it is number one in the world.

"I get on well with most players I've played with so from that point of view Matt knows I'm there if he needs any advice. I've been watching his game over the last 12 months and he's just going from strength to strength so from that point of view Australia are in safe hands."

Safe hands are what Haddin will now apply to NSW, helping the Blues go on from a promising start to the season before the CLT20 hiatus. After the travails in NSW last summer, Haddin's consistent presence in the team will be a significant help to the captain Steve O'Keefe and a bevy of tyros.

"You can see the way the Sixers performed over the last couple of weeks and during the Big Bash, you need that mix," Haddin said. "We've got a group at the moment who needs that bit of leadership and a few older guys around."

One of Haddin's most significant gains over the past six months has been the return of his best batting touch, resulting from adjustments he was able to make following the healing of an elbow injury that restricted him at times last summer.

"I think my batting is back to where it was two years ago. I've ironed a few things out which I'm pretty happy with," he said. "I'm enjoying my cricket at the moment. I'm actually enjoying being back playing. From that point of view life goes on ... I just hope to continue to improve as a cricketer."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by zenboomerang on (October 31, 2012, 5:21 GMT)

@bobagorof... Good comment - lol... Clarkes comment does seem odd as the selectors would have already penciled in the team squads a few weeks earlier for all 3 Test match... Haddin did say "I'd been around cricket long enough to know which direction things were going" so he was reading between the lines up until the selectors actually finalised the team - so Clarkes comment does sound a bit disingenuous...

Posted by   on (October 31, 2012, 4:22 GMT)

No, FFL is right. England white-washed Australia once. In a 2 test series. Right after WWI. Heady stuff.

Posted by   on (October 31, 2012, 1:20 GMT)

Agreed about Haddin's graciousness, which was possibly surprising given that he often bags/needles opposition players pre-match. Apart from M Waugh and Martyn being philosophical or walking, others were often dragged kicking and screaming eg S Waugh embarrassingly using a newspaper column to pump himself as an all-rounder after being binned from ODIs, Healy etc.

Posted by Meety on (October 30, 2012, 20:14 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge on (October 30 2012, 13:56 PM GMT) - LOL! You eem a bit confused!

Posted by Ross_Co on (October 30, 2012, 14:43 GMT)

@Front-Foot-Lunge. A white wash is where you, like, lose every test. 'England' in Australia in 06-07 for instance - 5-Nil out of 5 tests. That's a white wash. Can't think of when England last white-washed Australia - was it last century or the century before? No point asking you I suppose - you don't even know what a white-wash is.

Posted by Reggaecricket on (October 30, 2012, 14:40 GMT)

One of the last things he did before being dropped was to tell Zahid Khan how to play International Cricket. Look who isn't playing any anymore!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (October 30, 2012, 13:56 GMT)

@ Front-Foot_lunge, Clearly it's just you who thinks that. Seeing that you haven't been watching cricket these last few years, you missed your comical Australia thrashed and beaten and whitewashed by England on so many an occasion. And it was a joy to watch. Nice to see you like my name so much you wanted to use your own variation on it, I'll take that as the highest compliment. Thank you.:)

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (October 30, 2012, 13:52 GMT)

Australia' cricketing joke continues. More cannon fodder for England to demolish easily. We might as well say England can keep the Ashes.

Posted by azzaman333 on (October 30, 2012, 11:23 GMT)

While I'm not a fan of Haddin, he has certainly handled his axing with class, and I respect that.

Posted by bobagorof on (October 30, 2012, 10:15 GMT)

Wasn't Michael Clarke saying publicly last week that a decision hadn't been made between Haddin and Wade? Now it emerges the decision was made some time ago. Perhaps Inverarity needs to check the lines of communication with the Australian Captain...

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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