Brad Haddin, the Australia wicketkeeper-batsman who was one of Australia's star performers during the recent Ashes whitewash, has decided to skip this season of the IPL, citing family reasons.
Haddin ended the recent Ashes as the second-highest run-getter, and his 493 runs was the fourth highest by a wicketkeeper in a Test series. He is currently preparing for a full series against South Africa, which starts on Wednesday.
Despite being one of the most reliable keeper-batsmen around, Haddin has been forced to skip most IPL seasons, either due to injury or national commitments. His only on-field appearance during the lucrative league was in April 2011, when he scored a 11-ball 18 while opening the batting for Kolkata Knight Riders against Royals Challengers Bangalore in Kolkata. However, his Ashes exploits had helped him command the highest base price of Rs 20 million ($320,000, approx).
Haddin joins England batsman Eoin Morgan and South Africa fast bowler Chris Morris as players who have pulled out of the IPL auction, to be held in Bangalore on February 12 and 13. While Morgan has decided to skip the league to try and get into Test side by playing county cricket, Morris has been sidelined for six months with an ankle injury. The auction list has now been pruned to 511.
Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo