Australia's wicketkeeper, Brad Haddin, has confirmed his retirement from Twenty20 internationals, a move he hopes will allow him to focus more on Test and ODI cricket. Haddin, who turns 34 next month, has followed the lead of Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke, both of whom have given up the shortest format over the past two years.
The move will allow Tim Paine to take a permanent place in Australia's Twenty20 side, although he might not be available for the next two matches against South Africa in October. Paine is recovering from a broken finger and if he is not fit by the time the squad departs, the Victoria gloveman Matthew Wade would be in line to make his international debut.
Haddin played 25 Twenty20s for Australia, mostly batting in the middle to lower order despite being a one-day international opener during much of that time. He averaged 18 and did not make a half-century, but he did have the honour of being the country's fourth captain in the format, when he led the side against New Zealand and Pakistan in 2009.
He will continue to play domestic Twenty20, having been named captain of the Sydney Sixers in the new Big Bash League to be played this summer. Haddin, who had a disappointing Test tour of Sri Lanka with a highest score of 35 in the three Tests, said he hoped his decision would allow him to prolong his Test and ODI career.
"I thoroughly enjoy Twenty20 cricket and have taken great pride from playing all three forms of the game for Australia," Haddin said. "However I feel the time is now right for me to concentrate on Test and ODI cricket.
"This decision has been made to prolong my effectiveness in these formats and provide me further time to prepare for the demands of ODI and Test cricket. I remain extremely determined to play cricket for Australia and believe this decision will help achieve this.
"I remain committed and very excited by my role as captain of the Sydney Sixers in the KFC Big Bash League and also with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League but look forward to the periods of downtime throughout the international season this decision will create."