HENRY: Haddin’s axing sends wrong message to teammates
Indian batsman Umesh Yadav edges the last ball of the series into the gloves of Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin. AFP PHOTO/Tony ASHBY
The selectors have cast their die for the First Test and perhaps beyond. Brad Haddin is the first victim of the summer and a ball has yet to be released.
Chairman of selectors, ye venerable olde gentleman John Inverarity, was very careful with the wording of his statement regarding the man who has ‘retained’ his position (Matthew Wade), who ‘came into the team’, and that Brad had ‘presented a strong and compelling case’ and remained ‘a player of significant interest’.
Obtuse semantics from the former headmaster. He would have had the red pen slashed through his own statements if he was marking the paper.
Why can’t he just say that Brad Haddin has been a wonderful servant for Australian cricket, and despite him not being dropped from the team in the West Indies, he now is being dropped?
At 35, he will not play for Australia in Test cricket again.
Brad has been phlegmatic enough to accept whatever comes his way. At this very moment, his memory and cares about cricket may be a tad hazy as the Sydney Sixers celebrate a significant windfall from the Champions League prize pot.
Haddin is very unlucky to be shown the door just as Mattherw Wade is lucky to ‘retain’ his position. Players in the recent past who have missed matches for ‘personal’ reasons have not been discriminated against.
Wade is not lucky because he is in the XI following below par performances, that is far from the case.
He filled in for Haddin admirably, and as he was already the ODI and T20 gloveman, will do a fine job for Australia and hopefully have a long and fruitful career in Test cricket.
But Haddin was the preferred candidiate when Australia arrived in the Caribbean and did not miss the Test series for reasons of performance.
He should have been reinstated.
The incongruity that flows from John Inverarity’s mouth is the fact that Haddin is relieved of the mits to make way for a younger man and yet when the opportunity to replace the 38 and 37 year olds was obvious, he refused to make a strong and positive decision for the medium to longer term health of the Australian team.
So there is one rule for the ‘keeper, another altogether for the batsmen.
I thought Australian cricket had entered a new era where the obfuscation of the Hilditch panel would be dead, buried, incinerated, then concrete slippered to the deepest ocean floor.
Once again, the message sent to players all over Australia is a confused and contradictory one.
Geoff Lawson OAM is a former Australian cricketer and the former coach of the Pakistan cricket team. Nicknamed "Henry" after the Australian poet, Lawson was a fast bowler for New South Wales and Australia.