Brad Haddin has said he has no regrets about the way his Test career ended, when he was not reinstated after stepping down from the Lord's Test to be with his ill daughter. That decision effectively spelled the end of Haddin's days as an Australia player, and on Wednesday he confirmed that he was now officially retired from international cricket.
While it was fully expected that Haddin, 37, would depart after the Ashes tour, it had appeared likely when the campaign began that he would remain the incumbent gloveman throughout. However, he withdrew from the second Test at Lord's to be with his four-year-old daughter Mia, who was receiving treatment in a London hospital.
Mia had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer when she was only 17 months old, and Haddin had missed the 2012 tour of the West Indies to remain home with his family at the time. In announcing his retirement at the SCG, Haddin said he had no regrets about his decisions and knew that he was unlikely to be recalled after standing down during the Ashes.
"I'm not dirty ... I'm no different to any other parent in Australia," Haddin told reporters in Sydney. "Everyone puts their family first and I have no regrets about doing that.
"To me, it wasn't a choice. I remember saying to [wife] Karina at the hospital that I'll never play again. She said there was still three Tests to go but cricket is a big business/sport and I'd put myself in a position where I was vulnerable because I walked away. I could live with that because I was needed somewhere else and it was a place that was far more important for me.
"My family needed me at that time and the reality is I was unable to take the field for Australia with the 100% focus I needed. I understood the consequences that went with my decision; I put myself in a position to lose my spot and I don't regret that, not one bit. I wouldn't change one thing because I don't regret one thing that happened."
Haddin's wife Karina and children Mia and Zac were at the press conference at the SCG on Wednesday, and Haddin said Mia's health was heading in the right direction.
"Mia needed surgery [in Sydney] a couple of weeks ago," he said. "She had some internal bleeds ... but everything is going in the right direction. She's a normal four-year-old girl and the surgery will allow for her to enjoy a better quality of life."
Haddin's retirement means he will finish his career with 66 Tests to his name, along with 3266 runs at 32.98 and 270 dismissals. That places him fourth on the Australian Test wicketkeeping tally, behind Adam Gilchrist, Ian Healy and Rod Marsh.
His successor, Peter Nevill, played well on debut at Lord's, and Haddin said it was apparent when the team headed to Derby for a tour match ahead of the third Test that the selectors were leaning towards retaining Nevill. Haddin said he spoke to national selector Rod Marsh to ensure that Nevill was given enough of a chance in Derby to prepare properly for the Test.
"I've been in cricket long enough to know when you're about to be dropped because people start talking to you differently," Haddin said. "I remember saying to 'Nev', 'I'm not playing in this third Test, you're in' and he said 'no, no' but I said I'd ask Rod because we needed to sort it out. Pete hadn't kept much in England and I thought if he was playing in the Test he'd need to get used to the conditions.
"What was meant to happen was Rod said we'd share the keeping in that match and I said 'Rod, I've been around for 15 years, if you want me to go out and give you the energy, the perfect keeping game, I'll go and do that but if you know what's going to happen cut the bullshit and tell us - don't play one off against the other because you know after 15 years what I can do'.
"In the end I made the call. I'm not there to muck around, we were there to play for Australia and we had to prepare the best we could and that meant Nev had to keep. My thought was we were halfway through an Ashes series and this idea about one of us keeping for the first 30 overs when they knew what the decision was, well I thought let's get on with it, you've made your decision and that's how it unfolded."
Haddin said now was the perfect time to retire from internationals and first-class cricket, although he will play on for the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League. The Sixers confirmed in a press release on Wednesday that Haddin was still a key member of their squad for this summer.
"I've only ever wanted to play at the SCG. It's great to be here today to make my announcement," Haddin said. "I came to the realisation after Lord's. I've had a privileged run, but I lost the hunger on the Ashes tour. It was an easy decision to retire."
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale