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Family reasons rule out Aussie Ashes hero Brad Haddin

By Staff Reporter

Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin will miss the Lord's Test for personal reasons, Cricket Australia has announced.

The 37-year-old played very little part in the tourists' practice session at HQ two days before the second Investec Ashes Test.

It transpired soon afterwards that he was set to miss the match, with confirmation coming last night.

"I can confirm that Brad Haddin has withdrawn himself from the second Test at Lord's for family reasons," the team's media manager, Kate Hutchison, said.

"He will remain with the team in London and we won't be making any further comment.

"Peter Nevill will replace him in the side."

Australia's reserve wicketkeeper Nevill is uncapped in any international format.

The 29-year-old, also Haddin's understudy for New South Wales, has a fine first-class record, with a batting average of more than 44, including a double-century.

Haddin, like many of his compatriots, had a tough match in the first Test at Cardiff where the hosts surged to a 169-run victory.

But he was the scourge of England in their 2013-14 Ashes whitewash defeat, topping Australia's batting averages with five half-centuries hitting a top score of 118.

Aussie legend Shane Warne said Haddin (pictured) has a big influence on the team and will be missed in the second Test.

Meanwhile Australia were bemused by England captain Alastair Cook's invitation to post-match drinks following the home victory in the first Ashes Test.

Peter Siddle, on alert to play at HQ should Mitchell Starc fail to recover from his ankle injury, is still struggling to make sense of England's hopes for a convivial beer before the series is done.

Tradition holds that the bottles and cans get an airing once the urn is safely in keeping, one way or another.

Siddle was especially taken aback to hear England's linchpin pace bowler James Anderson going public that Australia were not interested in a drink after the hosts won by 169 runs in Cardiff.

"It's my fifth Ashes series and it's the first time anyone's ever gone to have a drink after one Test match," he said.

"So it's a little bit of an interesting story - especially from Jimmy, considering at the Oval last time (in 2013) we had a drink he goes: 'I don't know why we do this, I can't stand it'.

"I think through the series, as we know, there's a lot of tough battles that go on, between bat and ball, player versus player. There's no doubt at the end of the series we can have that drink."

On Starc's fitness, Siddle said: "He's feeling good. Starcy got through well today, bowled out in the middle off the long run - both ends.

"I guess it's just a waiting game at the moment for me. Everyone's fit at the moment, which is nice."

Whoever takes part as Australia seek an immediate response to their opening defeat, Siddle expects a significant improvement.

"Our normal high standards weren't reached (at Cardiff)," he said.

"That's something we've got to address and no doubt we will."

Belfast Telegraph


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