Australia news

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
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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...

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (October 30, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

i think the fact that haddin stayed in the team for so long says alot about aussy cricket...useless!

Posted by LillianThomson on (October 30, 2012, 9:53 GMT)

It's academic anyway. If Tim Paine remains fit he'll be back in the team as first choice keeper by the New Year, as he has been pencilled in for the last couple of years as the next Test captain.

Posted by   on (October 30, 2012, 9:10 GMT)

Yes, very gracious from Hadds. I'm sure this will also allow him to be at home a lot more. Top player and top bloke by the looks of it, hope he can help groom the flood of young talent coming through the ranks in NSW.

Posted by peeeeet on (October 30, 2012, 9:07 GMT)

I think that Haddin should give up now on international cricket and play as a batsman only at NSW. That way he's not standing in the way of younger players getting into the team. Nevill as a younger keeper needs the chance to develop, and if Australia want to move forward as a test team they will need to pick younger players - not a 36 year old wicketkeeper. If he stays on as a batter, he can still provide invaluable support to both keepers and young batsmen in the country, and that is one thing that is missing from Shield cricket at the moment - seasoned veterans to guide the younger crop of players.

Posted by straight_drive4 on (October 30, 2012, 8:52 GMT)

Haddins response is that of a true champion. It would have been so easy (like many before him) to have a go at the selectors on the way out but surrendered in good spirits. That's how he played his career like a champion and has now carried himself like a champion. People may argue he wasn't the best keeper/batsman going around but it's positive attitude like this that players around the team kept talking about. Now we have seen it

Posted by Front-Foot_lunge on (October 30, 2012, 8:39 GMT)

I compare this fresh and innovative approach to team management by the Australians to the soap-opera summer, scripted by 'Team England" over the Peitersen affair. The boards of the respective countries operate like chalk-and-cheese here. One is measured, clear and concise, the other is rife with infighting, innuendo, captaincy resignation and twitter parody accounts. No wonder my England are still suffering, being beaten from pillar post to post by every country we encounter. The thing for me is, when Australia was number 1 you actually believed it, when England was, you always felt it was a aberration of the ranking system.

Posted by msnsrinivas on (October 30, 2012, 8:23 GMT)

Only a matter of time before Matthew Wade is cast aside. He will be found out by quality teams.

Posted by Meety on (October 30, 2012, 8:19 GMT)

@kensohatter on (October 30 2012, 07:02 AM GMT) - right about Keepers, I always felt sorry for Seccombe from QLD, understudy to Healy at Shield level, then Healy retires - then Gilly takes over the Baggy Green. No way through!

Posted by 200ondebut on (October 30, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

Australia should just pick another batsman and get one of them to stick the gloves on. With a complete lack of even basic standard spinners and an average bowling attack a proper keeper would be wasted.

Posted by one-on-the-arm on (October 30, 2012, 8:04 GMT)

Not just the media - he had some high-flyers in his corner too. Only last week Australia's Vice-Captain was making it clear his preference was to have Haddin in the team, then before that Steve Waugh and others suggesting he was good enough to be there just as a batsman alone. Good luck to Haddin for his generous spirit. To the objective observer, the day Wade hit that ton against the WI meant it was all over for Haddin. People who should have known better should not have been taking sides publicly.

Posted by one-on-the-arm on (October 30, 2012, 8:04 GMT)

Not just the media - he had some high-flyers in his corner too. Only last week Australia's Vice-Captain was making it clear his preference was to have Haddin in the team, then before that Steve Waugh and others suggesting he was good enough to be there just as a batsman alone. Good luck to Haddin for his generous spirit. To the objective observer, the day Wade hit that ton against the WI meant it was all over for Haddin. People who should have known better should not have been taking sides publicly.

Posted by   on (October 30, 2012, 8:00 GMT)

MEETY ... as always your comments accurate and articulate IMHO

Posted by PeteB on (October 30, 2012, 7:38 GMT)

I'm not overly convinced that Wade will not be found out by the South African tyros, but good luck to him. I reckon Tim Paine could become our test keeper in a season or so.

Posted by Meety on (October 30, 2012, 7:17 GMT)

Top interview/article. Haddin ook it like a Champ! Very gracious in the comment about "....Australia are in safe hands"- top stuff Brad. Read in the paper that Clarke said that Haddin had been dignified in his response to officially been told just after the Champ League Semi. I think this will be a massive boost for SO'K, to have Haddin as an aid to his captaincy. Good to see that the communication lines are significantly better than under Hilditch!

Posted by kensohatter on (October 30, 2012, 7:02 GMT)

Selection of Wade was no suprise to the public either. It many ways Haddin opened the door for Wade himself when he flew home to be with his family (a decision im sure even now he does not regret). Wade took the opportunity and it just made sense for the selection panel to go with the younger man who presents a better long term option. Haddin was lucky to get a chance as keepers hang around a long time and had Gilchrist not retired relatively early he would have not have even got his chance... Remember poor Phil Emery, Ian Healys understudy who then missed out when a young Gilchrist took the reigns.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (October 30, 2012, 6:56 GMT)

Thank God for that. Media, shame on you for making it seem like bumbles Haddin had a chance. The guy clearly is going to struggle to hold on to his NSW spot. Good job on the selection panel telling him he was dead wood. Bad job on the media for making it sound like he was remotely close.

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Daniel BrettigClose
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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