Sydney: Tenacious Australian wicketkeeper and batsman Brad Haddin announced his retirement from international cricket on Wednesday after a stellar career.
Vice-captain of the Test team for much of the last two years, the 37-year-old will continue to play only Twenty20 cricket for the Sydney Sixers. "I came to the realisation after Lord's," Haddin said. "I've had a privileged run, but I lost the hunger on the Ashes Tour. "It was an easy decision to retire."
Haddin controversially lost his place on Australia's England tour after performing below his usual high standards in the opening game and returned home last month for family reasons. He praised new skipper Steve Smith as a "great leader".
"I think Australian cricket is in good stead," he told a press conference at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Haddin played 66 Tests but had to wait until he was 30 to win his first Test cap following the retirement of Adam Gilchrist.
Only three Australian wicket-keepers played more Tests than Haddin: Ian Healy (119), Adam Gilchrist (96) and Rod Marsh (96). And his 270 dismissals as a wicketkeeper sit behind only Gilchrist (416), Healy (395) and Marsh (355) for Australia.
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland praised Haddin's leadership. "Brad was a vital player during an important period in Australian cricket," Sutherland said. "His tenacity with bat and gloves was matched with an unflinching will to win which made him the foundation of a changing team."
Haddin's Test batting average of 32.99 is bettered only by Gilchrist (47.61) among Australian wicketkeepers who have played more than a dozen Tests. Haddin topped the series batting averages in Australia's 2013-14 whitewash of England with 493 runs at 61.63.
"Brad's strong performances and positive influence on the team were all the more remarkable given he was dealing with the serious illness suffered by his daughter Mia," Sutherland said.
"He showed true leadership at the most difficult of times... Brad can be enormously proud of his contribution to Australian cricket on and off the field."
The former New South Wales captain is also the most prolific batsman and wicketkeeper in Australian domestic one-day cricket with 3,010 runs in 94 matches at 34.60 including six centuries. He also claimed 164 dismissals.
Haddin joins all-rounder Shane Watson, captain Michael Clarke and opener Chris Rogers who have all retired from international cricket since losing the Ashes. He quit one-day internationals after playing in Australia's World Cup final win over New Zealand in Melbourne in March.
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