Australia skipper Smith, coach Lehmann laud Haddin

Manchester, Sep 9 (IANS) Australia cricket team captain Steve Smith and head coach Darren Lehmann heaped praise on wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin after the gloveman on Wednesday called time on his international career.

Haddin had retired from One-Day International cricket following Australia’s 2015 World Cup triumph on home soil against New Zealand in March 29, but on Wednesday he confirmed his retirement from the longer format of the game.

“It’s a sad day for Australian cricket, because he was a fantastic player, a fantastic mentor for a lot of young players. A great mentor for me as coach,” Lehmann was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia (CA).

“He’s a great bloke. I played against him as a youngster, (when I was) with South Australia, and saw him rise through the ranks and play some amazing knocks for Australia,” the coach said.

Haddin’s 66-match Test career yielded 3,266 runs at an average of 32.98 with four centuries while pouching 262 catches and eight stumpings.

“Some of the catches and keeping he did over that period of time, in 66 Test matches, is an amazing achievement for him – but also (because of) what he went through personally,” the former left handed batsman Lehmann said.

His 270 Test dismissals puts him fourth on the list behind Adam Gilchrist (416), Ian Healy (395) and Rod Marsh (355) of most-ever by an Australian.

Haddin was the man at the other end when Smith brought up his maiden Test match century in 2013, and the new Test captain thanked the veteran for his guidance and friendship throughout his career.

“He’s been a terrific player over a long period of time for Australia, certainly one of the best team men I’ve ever been around,” Smith said.

“He always put the team first in every aspect. Hopefully the person coming in and filling that job can do it really well for him. In the Australian set-up as well he was always took me under his wing and helped me develop as a player and as a person. I’m very thankful for that,” Smith said.

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