Born October 23, 1977, Brad James Haddin is a spectacular Australian wicketkeeper synonymous to fighting spirit. On September 9, 2015, Haddin quit international and First-Class cricket. He represented Australia in 66 Tests, 126 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 34 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). The New South Wales (NSW) stalwart who made his First-Class debut way back in 1999, went on to play 138 First-Class games. On the occasion of his retirement, Suvajit Mustafi looks at 13 facts about the immediate predecessor of the legendary Adam Gilchrist.

1. Move to Queansbeyan

When he was 12, Brad Haddin s family had moved to Queanbeyan, located in south-east NSW. He began playing junior cricket there at the Queansbeyan Cricket Club at the age of 15. By 16 he was playing for Australian National University.

2. Appearing for ACT

Haddin made his List A debut in the Mercantile Mutual Cup 1997-98 against South Australia. He was 20 then. Batting at No. 4, he scored only 6 and effected one dismissal behind the stumps. In his next game, he made an impact with a 24 from just 19 balls.

3. Dismissed by Matthew Hayden on First-Class debut

After making a few sporadic appearances in List A games, he earned the prestigious NSW cap in 1999 just days before his 22nd birthday. He impressed with knocks of 33 and 54. In his maiden First-Class innings, Matthew Hayden, who wasn t known for his bowling, dismissed him leg-before. They became teammates for Australia.

4. Finally, Australian cap

Haddin had done enough in the domestic circuit to merit a national selection but Australia then had Adam Gilchrist playing for them. He finally filled in for Gilchrist in a Carlton Series match against Zimbabwe in January 2001. Scoring only 13, he didn t make an impact.

5. Gilchrist s shadow

Gilchrist made his Test debut in 1999 following the retirement of Ian Healy. From then till Gilchrist s retirement in 2008, no other wicketkeeper played a Test for Australia. All Haddin had to do was wait.

Such was the stiff competition that between Healy s debut and Gilchrist s retirement, nobody else kept wickets for Australia (barring Phil Emery, who filled in for Healy in a solitary Test). Haddin broke the run, taking over from Gilchrist.

6. The 400th Baggy Green holder

Haddin finally made his Test debut at the age of 30, against West Indies at Jamaica in 2008. He became the 400th Baggy Green holder.

7. Maiden Test hundred

Filling Gilchrist s shoes is probably one of the toughest jobs but Haddin didn t take long to prove his mettle with the bat. In December 2008, in his 9th Test, he scored a match-winning 169 against New Zealand at Adelaide. This remained his highest score and in a career spanning 66 Tests, he brought up three more hundreds. He retired with an average of almost 33.

8. Ashes star

Haddin was one of the Australian heroes of the 2013-14 Ashes win. Australia thumped England 5-0 and Haddin topped the batting averages chart. He scored 493 runs at 61.62. He was remarkably consistent bringing up five fifties and a hundred from his eight innings. Haddin even impressed in the 2010-11 Ashes in Australia. Though his side lost the series, Haddin scored 360 runs at 45.

Haddin s 493 is the fourth-best for any wicketkeeper in a Test series, and the best in Ashes history. In fact, if only Ashes is considered, Haddin occupies the first and fourth spots with his 493 and 360.

9. Loved the chat

Haddin was well-known in Australian domestic cricket circles for his love of on-field banter. He was a firm believer in taking part in mental disintegration . In the World Cup 2015 final, his send-off to New Zealand batsman Grant Elliott did not go well in the cricketing circles. He was criticised when he later said that he was feeling uncomfortable by how nice the Black Caps player behaved throughout the tournament.

10. Love for controversies

Opponents didn t like Haddin as he liked to get under their nerves. He had tiffs with Virat Kohli during India s tour to Australia in 2014-15. Back in 2009, in an ODI against New Zealand, Haddin invited controversy relating to the dismissal of Neil Broom. Broom was given out bowled but replays showed that Haddin’s gloves had disturbed the bails. Later, New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori criticised Haddin s actions. Involved in several controversies, his career ended a similar way.

11. Family man

haddin family
Brad Haddin (centre) poses with his daughter Mia (third from right), son Zac (second from left), Hugo (second from right), wife Karina (left) and parents Ross (third from left) and Anne (right) after announcing his retirement from international cricket at the Sydney Cricket Ground on September 9, 2015.

Haddin is well known for his commitment towards his family. In 2012 his career looked over when he took a long break from cricket to be with his young daughter Mia, who was suffering from a serious illness. During Ashes 2015, Haddin opted out of the second Test at Lord s to be with Mia, who was in hospital. He didn t regain his place in the side and his career came to an end. Not selecting Haddin in the remainder Tests sparked a controversy with the likes of Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne saying that it contradicted with Cricket Australia s family first policy.

12. Witnessing Phil Hughes tragedy

Brad Haddin reacts as Phil Hughes falls to the ground after being struck in the head by a delivery during day one of the Sheffield Shield match between NSW and SA at SCG on November 25, 2014.

Haddin was playing the Sheffield Shield game for NSW when Phillip Hughes got hit on the head, which led to his death. It was Haddin who immediately waved for medical attention along with David Warner. Later in hospital, Haddin was seen in tears. Ahead of the first Test against India, Haddin had called for the support of Australian public . Haddin and Hughes had played First-Class cricket for NSW before the latter made it to the Australian side.

13. Franchise cricket

Haddin has played in the IPL for Kolkata Knight Riders and since 2011, he has been a part of Sydney Sixers in the BBL. He has also been a part of Islamabad United in PSL.

14. Coaching

Haddin joined Australia’s national team as fielding coach in 2017.

(Suvajit Mustafi consumes cricket for lunch, fiction for dinner and munches numerous other snacks throughout the day. Yes, a jack of several trades, all Suvajit dreamt of was being India s World Cup winning skipper but ended up being a sports writer, author, screenwriter, director, copywriter, graphic designer, sportsmarketer , strategist, entrepreneur, philosopher and traveller. Donning so many hats, it s cricket which gives him the ultimate high and where he finds solace. He can be followed at @RibsGully and rivu7)