Brad Haddin, the former Australia wicket-keeper, will join the backroom staff of the Australian men's team as a high-performance coach until the end of 2019, Cricket Australia announced on Thursday.
Haddin will be replacing Greg Blewett, the former Australia batsman, who will now take up a position at South Australia, mainly as the coach of the U19 side but also working closely with the Redbacks and Adelaide Strikers.
Speaking about the opportunity, Haddin indicated his desire to improve the levels of fielding, one of the two areas he will be in charge, and raise it to the expected standard.
“I am thrilled to get the opportunity to work with this young group of players,” he said. “I grew up in an era of players like Andrew Symonds and Ricky Ponting who gave Australian cricket a real identity in the standards of world-class fielding. They were the type of players who took it personally if the team wasn’t fielding well and that created a level for the rest of the group to aspire to.
“I want to hold this group accountable to that kind of standard and I believe we have the talent to do that. It will be hard work but I am looking forward to the challenge. Given my background is in wicket-keeping it will be great to be able to work with the keepers in the side and give them a sounding board.”
Haddin made his debut for Australia in One-Day Internationals in 2001 but made his Test debut at the age of 30, taking the mantle of keeper from Adam Gilchrist and was pushed back by Matthew Wade after a family emergency forced him to take a break from the game in 2012.
But by 2014, Haddin had established his dominance as the leading ’keeper in all three formats, and was Michael Clarke's right-hand man during the back-to-back Ashes series in 2013-14. While he retired from ODIs on a high after Australia's ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 title win at home, his Test retirement was part of an exodus that took place after the 2015 Ashes loss in England with Clarke, Ryan Harris, Shane Watson and Chris Rogers all retiring from international cricket.
Haddin played 66 Tests, taking 262 catches, 126 ODIs and 34 Twenty20 Internationals in his career.
Haddin continued to feature for Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League and played for Islamabad United in the 2017 Pakistan Super League. His previous coaching experience includes a stint with Australia A during the Quadrangular Series at home in 2016, working with Cricket ACT's high performance team and served as assistant coach along with Harris to Darren Lehmann during Australia's tour of New Zealand in 2016-17, coming through the Australia Cricket Coaches Pathways program.
Lehmann, the Australia men's head coach, expressed his excitement at having Haddin working with the squad ahead of the upcoming tour to Bangladesh and the Ashes in December 2017.
“It has been fantastic having Greg involved in the side, and we are really pleased he is staying within the Australian Cricket Coaching System to continue developing young talent in South Australia,” said Lehmann. “Brad had a wonderful career as a player for Australia and will bring a multi skill set to our environment. His primary focus will be on fielding, carrying on the good work that Greg has done, but will also work very closely with our wicket-keepers.
“Having someone with a pedigree such as Brad’s to bounce ideas off and fine tune their skills will be immensely valuable for our keepers,” concluded Lehmann.
Australia with play a practice match in Fatullah on August 22 before the start of the first Test in Mirpur on August 27.