• Hayden slams Haddin omission

    Matthew Hayden has labelled Brad Haddin’s axing from the Australian cricket team as ‘outrageous’, given the wicketkeeper’s trying personal circumstances that led to him standing down for the second Ashes Test.

    The Australian vice-captain asked to be stood down for the Lord’s Test because of his sick daughter and was replaced by Peter Nevill, who made a solid debut snaring seven catches and scoring 45, which prompted selectors to keep faith with him.

    But Hayden has questioned the precedent set by selectors.

    ‘Any mum and dad who has experienced the issues Brad and his wife Karina are going through will understand there’s no way he was in a position to play cricket at Lord’s,’ Hayden wrote in his column for Newscorp.

    ‘It doesn’t say much for the family-first policy if Brad puts his family first and all of a sudden he’s out. Sometimes the heart has to play a part in selection.’

    Former captain Ricky Ponting was also critical of Haddin’s axing.

    ‘I am disappointed with the decision to leave Brad Haddin out of the Test team for Edgbaston. All reports suggest he would have played at Lord’s but he made the only and right decision to be with his daughter Mia who was very ill in hospital and missed that match,’ Ponting wrote in his column for the Australian.

    ‘I know it would have been a hard call for him, he has been a single-minded and determined servant of Australian cricket, but he rightfully put his family first and has paid the price for it. – AAP


    Alastair Cook is ready to throw Steven Finn into his first Test match for two years – and 18 months after he was deemed unselectable – in Wednesday’s pivotal Ashes encounter at Edgbaston after admitting the fitness of Mark Wood has become a concern.

    With the series locked at one apiece following Australia’s 405-run win in the second Test at Lord’s – a result Cook labelled an ‘absolute disaster’ – Finn is expected to replace the fast bowler Wood, who manages discomfort in his left ankle and has shown signs of fatigue since making his England debut at the start of the summer.

    Cook also expressed the hope that the Edgbaston crowd would get behind the home team.

    ‘The crowd really get behind us here,’ Cook said. ‘If we get on top we feel as if we’ve got an extra man playing for us because of the noise.

    ‘It’s almost a different atmosphere to anywhere else we play. We are 1-1 in an Ashes series coming to Edgbaston, a fantastic ground where we know that if we play good cricket the crowd will get behind us.’

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