SYDNEY • Australia wicket-keeper Brad Haddin announced his retirement from first-class cricket yesterday, following Michael Clarke, Shane Watson and Chris Rogers in stepping down from Tests in the wake of the Ashes series defeat.
The 37-year-old, who retired from one-day cricket after Australia's World Cup triumph earlier this year, kept wickets in 66 Tests. He scored 3,266 runs at an average of 32.98 and took 262 catches with eight stumpings.
"I've had an outstanding career, I've enjoyed every minute and, in the end, the decision was not a hard one," Haddin, who played 17 seasons for New South Wales, told a media conference at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
"Once you've lost that will to get up and do the things you need to do to play for Australia, it's time to walk away."
An assured pair of hands behind the stumps, his runs were often extremely valuable to his country, coming as they did in counter-attacking tail-end partnerships.
Haddin, renowned as a talkative, tough competitor, played his last match in the opening Test of the recently concluded Ashes series against England in July.
He missed the second Test at Lord's to be with his sick daughter. He failed to regain his place in the side from Peter Nevill for the remainder of the series, which England won 3-2.
"I came to the realisation, probably after Lord's, that I'd lost that fight to continue," he said. "I was all about trying to make myself the best cricketer I could be every time I walked out on the training paddock and I probably lost that hunger from there."
With Adam Gilchrist as his predecessor, Haddin had to wait until he was 30 until he played his first Test against the West Indies in 2008.
He lost his place in the side in 2012 when he stood down from the tour of West Indies for personal reasons but returned in early 2013.
Appointed vice-captain for the next home Ashes series against England, he scored half-centuries in six of his eight innings and took 22 catches as Australia won back the urn with a 5-0 sweep.
He is confident Australia's Test future is bright.
"It's an exciting time, I think we can cover all the retirements," he said. "We've got a great leader in Steve Smith. He's going to be a great leader for a long period of time."