Brad Haddin lifts the lid on brutal act towards Usman Khawaja
The former Test wicket-keeper has recounted a funny incident involving his future teammate.
Brad Haddin has opened up on the brutal way he managed to dismiss Usman Khawaja during a grade cricket grand final early in their careers. The former Test wicket-keeper was well-known for his cheeky tactics behind the stumps, which usually included a fair bit of banter and sledging.
And it was no different when he was taking on his future Test teammate Khawaja in a grade cricket match that Khawaja was dominating. Speaking on the 'Willow Talk' podcast recently, Haddin revealed how he resorted to some underhanded tactics in order to end Khawaja's innings.
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Haddin said Khawaja was "on fire" so he decided to appeal when he knew Khawaja hadn't gone anywhere near the ball. “We had Adrian Tucker who was a good little leg-spinner who had a good wrong-un and Usman had played and missed a couple of times,” Haddin said.
“He was frustrated at slip - and he (Khawaja) was getting the better of us and it looked like we were staring down a defeat - and I said ‘next time it gets really close to Usman’s edge and he plays and misses, if I go up, everyone go up with me and look at (umpire) Rod Tucker.
“Usman’s played and missed and I’ve thrown the ball up, we’ve charged toward Tucker from cover and mid-wicket and Tucker’s gone up with us. Khawaja’s sort of looked in disarray.
“After the game, Tucker said to me ‘he didn’t hit that?’ I said ‘nah, wasn’t hit’. We won the grand final, beat Randwick our arch rivals.”
Haddin said Khawaja didn't take the incident well. "He was only young at the time. He looked a little dumbfounded as he walked off, but in Uzzie’s defence, there was a lot of daylight between bat and ball. He should have been disappointed.”
Haddin and Khawaja went on to play for NSW and Australia together and played in the Test team at the same time. Haddin has since retired from professional cricket, but has worked with Khawaja and the Test players a number of times since.
Usman Khawaja cops backlash after second Test
Khawaja came under fire last week for his response to Australia's loss in the second Test against India. The Aussies looked to be in a good position after the first innings in Delhi, but suffered a shocking collapse of 9-48 in the second dig that allowed India to go 2-0 up in the series.
Discussing the situation on SEN radio, Khawaja said: “Sometimes that’s just how it goes. We were just out-skilled, we didn’t execute well enough today unfortunately. We executed quite well in the first innings, we just couldn’t do it for the whole game."
“There’ll always be outside noise but at the end of the day we’re out here trying to win games of cricket for Australia. You have to pick your poison, one way or another.
"You can get out blocking or you can get out trying to execute shots we’ve been practising. That’s just the way it goes. If you’re looking short-sighted, it sucks, but we’ve still played a lot of good cricket over a long period of time.”
Commentators Gerard Whateley later said: “They will have to come up with better than 'it’s just how it goes'." While fellow commentator Adam Collins added: “I don’t know if that’s reading the room. They (India) are laughing at us now.
“That bit about, ‘There’ll be outside noise’. I don’t know if that’s reading the room particularly well from Usman. I acknowledge he is one of the most mature cricketers in the world at the moment and he is entitled to his view and it should be respected, but the outside noise is going to be there from everywhere and to ignore it would be a mistake."
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