Test captain Michael Clarke has revealed just how hard it was for him to drop wicketkeeper and 'great friend' Brad Haddin from the national Test team.
Clarke admitted that voting for Matthew Wade over Brad Haddin was amongst the hardest decisions he's had to make during his 18-month reign as fulltime captain.
"Being part of the selection panel that dropped him from the Test team to include Matt Wade was really tough for me personally, particularly knowing how ill Brad’s daughter Mia has been," Clarke said.
"One thing that I've always said to the players since taking over the captaincy and becoming a selector is that no selection that I have any impact on will be personal.
"It's always about what's best for the team and I've spoken to Brad and he certainly knows this won't affect our relationship.
"We've been great friends for a long time. I think I played my first game with Brad when I was 17, so things won't change there.
"He's been a great player for a long time and this certainly isn't the end of his career in my opinion.
"I think his batting at the moment is as good as anybody's in first-class cricket.
"I know he'll be pushing for selection, whether it be as a wicketkeeper-batsman or just a batsman.
"So I certainly don't think we've seen the last of Brad Haddin."
As captain of the Sydney Sixers, Haddin guided his side to victory in the T20 Champions League just days after receiving the news that he would no longer be needed in the Test team.
A 43-Test veteran and decade-long NSW teammate of Clarke's, Haddin has scored 123 runs at an average of 41 from three innings this first-class season.
Australia is ranked No.3 behind South Africa and England, will return to No.1 in the Test rankings for the first time since 2009 should they beat the Proteas in the upcoming three-match series.