Explosive device found near Australian cricketer Haddin's home

Australian cricketer Brad Haddin.
Australian cricketer Brad Haddin. PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY (AFP) - Australian police said on Saturday that they were investigating after a suspicious item, reportedly an improvised explosive device, was found near the Sydney home of cricketer Brad Haddin.

A New South Wales police spokesman said it was found on a grassy patch of road in the suburb of Tennyson Point in northwest Sydney.

"Officers... located and removed a suspicious item which was located on the nature strip, not the front yard, and it will be forensically examined," she told AFP. "Inquiries are continuing."

Police were unable to give any further details but the Australian Broadcasting Corporation said it understood that authorities removed two butane canisters with a wick attached. There were indications that an attempt had been made to light it, the ABC added.

Cricket Australia said Haddin, 37, who pulled out of the second Ashes Test against England on Tuesday for family reasons, was still overseas.

"He is safe with his family in the UK," a spokesman told Australian Associated Press.

Skipper Michael Clarke has said he expected Haddin, who is staying on tour, to feature again in the series.

It was not the first time Haddin has withdrawn for family reasons. In 2012 he took several months out of the game after his then 17-month-old daughter Mia was diagnosed with neuroblastoma - a rare form of cancer.

As his daughter's condition improved, Haddin returned to international cricket during Australia's losing 2013 Ashes tour of England.

The wicketkeeper reportedly bought the house in 2010 for A$3.05 million (S$3.07 million).