Cricket 3 years ago

Athletes are human: Brad Haddin is an example of that

  • Athletes are human: Brad Haddin is an example of that

He’s loud, crude, bullish and the thorn in the side of many an opposition batsman when they come to the crease.

 

But it is important we do not confuse Brad Haddin the cricketer, with Brad Haddin the man.

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He may be seen as one of the leaders of the Australian cricket team’s sledging group, but he’s nowhere near that man off the field.

 

For the second time in his career, he has put cricket on hold to be with his family.

 

In 2012, at the age of 35, he walked away from the Test team to be with his young daughter, Mia, who was battling Neuroblastoma.

 

Brad Haddin the man had replaced Brad Haddin the cricketer. He showed that he wasn’t just the annoying bloke behind the stumps, but rather a husband and father.

 

But the cricketer couldn’t be kept down. When everyone assumed his career had ended, he fought his way back into the side and proved to be a vital cog in the 2013/14 Ashes series win.

 

Now, at 37, he’s had to withdraw from what is assumed his final Ashes series. Again, for family reasons.

 

We know nothing more than that and nor should we.

 

Haddin the man again takes precedent over Haddin the cricketer. But it’s not the fairytale end this man deserves.

 

Whilst his withdrawal will see Peter Nevill receive his Test cap. It’s not quite Nevill’s cap, not yet.

 

This situation reminds us that an athlete you see on the field isn’t always who you meet off the field.

 

On the field they want to win at all costs. It’s what, in essence, defines their career. No one remembers who came second.

 

But in striving to win, they can sometimes be perceived to overstep the line. It’s important we do not forget they are human.

 

Mistakes they will make are often mistakes they would like to revisit.

Brad Haddin is showing us that the human off the field is separate to the athlete on the field. We should not confuse the athlete for the person.

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