Having just been “rested” from Australia’s one day cricket team, Brad Haddin has now been stood down from his Sydney grade club for the same reason, The Public Apology can report.
The exclusive revelation comes after Haddin turned out for his Sydney grade club, Eastern Suburbs, against a Sutherland team containing Shane Watson in an attempt to rediscover form and confidence ahead of Australia’s upcoming West Indies tour.
In the one-day grade fixture, Haddin generously relinquished the ‘keeping gloves to young teammate Peter Nevill, who promptly took two catches and struck 98 not out from 118 balls. Haddin, meanwhile, was dismissed for one run – befitting of a player of his calibre.
Despite Haddin remaining upbeat about his chances of recapturing form and his Australian position, his immediate priority will now turn to recapturing his position in first grade, with reports that he will be dropped to second grade. Sorry, I mean “rested” from his first grade duties.
Eastern Suburbs Club President Moshe Ezekiel confirmed to this reporter following the match that Haddin would indeed be given a break from first grade cricket. “Brad has been playing a lot of cricket this season – not very successfully I’ll admit – but still a lot of cricket,” he said.
“We think it is in his best interests to spend some time in second grade, where the demands on him won’t be as rigorous. One thing is for sure though, he hasn’t been dropped. And he hasn’t been dropped from the Australian team either. Let me just stress again – we’re not dropping him.”
When quizzed about how much less rigorous the demands could be, considering he didn’t keep wickets in the weekend’s game, Ezekiel deflected the question to instead note Peter Nevill’s success. “It was more about giving Pete a go. That and the fact that Brad has forgotten how to catch. A couple of our quick bowlers get pretty upset when catches go down. I didn’t want to be dealing with that,” he said.
The Public Apology also spoke briefly to Haddin himself to gauge his reaction to the news. As always, he was complimentary to those who had replaced him: “Yeah, it’s good to get a bit of a break, and I’m just really happy to see Peter Nevill do such a good job today. Just like I’m happy to see Matthew Wade doing such a great job in my place for Australia,” he said.
“It’s fucking fantastic to see all these young pricks doing such a great fucking job”.
When asked to put a finger on what prompted his spate of dropped catches during Australia’s recent test series against India, Haddin suddenly became defensive. “I didn’t drop the catches. They weren’t dropped. I was just resting them on those occasions. There is a difference,” he maintained.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Suburbs fourth grade players who were at Waverley Oval to cheer on their first grade side have expressed their excitement at the prospect of having Brad Haddin bolstering their line up for the last few games of the season.
“Yeah we’re pretty confident that [Haddin] will soon be rested from second and third grade; he’ll fit in well here on the hill with us smashing beers,” said one fourth-grader, who wished to remain anonymous, lest he reveal his drinking problem.
By Hugh Holden