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March 15, 2012
Australia's Test wicketkeeper Brad Haddin is returning home from the Caribbean for personal reasons, casting doubt over his place in the team for three matches against the West Indies next month.
Mindful of the distance between Australia and the West Indies, the selectors have named Haddin's New South Wales understudy Peter Nevill as his replacement.
"Brad Haddin is in transit returning to Australia for personal reasons and has the full support of Cricket Australia, the National Selection Panel and his team mates in so doing. We hope that Brad will be able to re-join the squad in the West Indies in the not too distant future," the national selector John Inverarity said.
"The NSP has selected Peter Nevill as Brad's replacement and Peter will head to the West Indies as soon as possible. Peter has just completed an outstanding season with New South Wales, both with the gloves and the bat. He was the overwhelming choice of his fellow Sheffield Shield cricketers as wicket-keeper in the Australian Cricketers' Association All Star Team of the Year announced at the State Cricket Awards this week."
Haddin travelled with the ODI squad as the back-up to Matthew Wade, who had usurped the more senior gloveman as Australia's limited overs wicketkeeper this summer.
However Haddin is now on his way back from the West Indies to be with his pregnant wife Karina, their son Zac and daughter Mia. His departure was arranged so swiftly that Haddin is flying home via London, a longer trip than returning via the United States. His management has said that more will be made clear in coming days.
"Yes, Brad Haddin is returning from WIndies for personal reasons. There will no further comment from or on his behalf," the Cricket Australia public affairs manager, Peter Young, tweeted this morning.
It is not yet clear how long Haddin will be at home, or whether he will return to the squad in the Caribbean.
When announcing the Test squad in Adelaide on Wednesday, the selector Rod Marsh had indicated that Haddin remained the Test wicketkeeper of choice.
"At this point of time, obviously the first Test team will be selected after the one-dayers, a lot will depend on what happens in the one-dayers, no doubt," Marsh said. "But if I wanted to place a punt on it, I would have Haddin will play in the first Test match, as he should, and we'll wait and see what happens after that."
Wade had said that he had enjoyed the first week of the tour, working alongside Haddin as the pair competed for one spot in the team.
"It's started really well. Obviously we've had a couple of sessions working together leading up to the one-day series," Wade said this week. "He's really good, he's got a lot of knowledge obviously in these conditions and he's played a lot of international cricket.
"I'm just opening my ears and listening to everything he's got to say."
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
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