Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin announced his retirement from international cricket on Wednesday after losing his place in the team during the Ashes.
Haddin (37) said he had no regrets about the way his career ended, when he was not reinstated after stepping down from the Lord’s Test to be with his ill daughter.
His being left out of the remaining Tests angered former Test players Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden and Gavin Robertson who questioned the genuineness of the Australian team’s much lauded family first policy, the promise a player won’t be punished by losing his spot for taking time out to look after those dearest to him.
Haddin’s four-year-old daughter Mia, had to receive treatment in a London hospital after the first Ashes Test. She 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.
‘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.
Picture: Getty Images