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Haddin bides his time

Date

Lee Gaskin

Brad Haddin keeping for the Blues in the Sheffield Shield this season.

Brad Haddin keeping for the Blues in the Sheffield Shield this season. Photo: Matt King

Brad Haddin wants retribution on the old enemy and still harbours ambitions to break back into the Australian team for next year's Ashes series.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Canberra Times before next week's Sheffield Shield match in Canberra, Haddin revealed his burning desire to gain revenge on England after playing in the past two losing campaigns.

The 35-year-old wicketkeeper has not considered retirement after being dropped from the Test team for Matthew Wade. But his main focus is helping NSW return to dominance in the first-class and Ryobi Cup competitions.

Haddin lost his place in the Test side after 43 matches and more than 2200 runs at an average of 35 when he returned home from this year's tour of the West Indies to care for his daughter.

''I've got a lot of cricket in me, I don't see a finish line,'' Haddin said. ''I have no problems with my body at the moment, I'm still enjoying the contest. I think the most important thing is that I'm turning up to training each day trying to get better. When I lose the passion to go to training to try and get better is when I'll give the game away.''

Haddin isn't bitter about the decision from the national selectors and is concerned only with performing strongly in his role as captain of NSW.

However, he admitted to having one eye on next year's Ashes series in England after being involved in Australia's two most recent series defeats, in 2009 and 2010-11.

The traditional foes will play 10 Tests in the space of a year. First, England tour Australia next summer.

''It's definitely something that's on the radar,'' Haddin said.

''I've had a lot of personal success against the English, but haven't been able to win the Ashes yet.

''It's the most exciting and intense cricket you'll ever play in your career. The pressure you are under, the theatre of the whole series is just phenomenal.

''If I'm lucky enough to be a part of that squad, I'd be very excited about it.

''But I've got a lot of cricket to play for NSW and we've just got to start winning some games.''

Haddin will lead the Blues on to his old stomping ground of Manuka Oval for the Sheffield Shield match with Queensland from Tuesday to Friday, followed by the Ryobi Cup game on December 2.

After that his focus will turn to captaining the Sydney Sixers as the reigning Big Bash League champions look to defend their title. The Sixers can lay claim to being the premier domestic Twenty20 franchise in the world after their victory in the $US2.5 million Champions League competition in South Africa last month.

While Haddin would love to be in the thick of the action with the Test team, he has taken great pleasure out of Australia's strong start to their series against the Proteas.

None more so than watching skipper Michael Clarke compile a stunning double hundred and belt the depleted South African bowling attack to all parts of Adelaide Oval.

Clarke was dismissed on Friday for 230, but not before putting Australia into a dominant position.

''It was hard watching the first day when South Africa were going so well in Brisbane, but from there it's been pretty easy,'' Haddin said. ''I'm content with what's happened.

''My job is being the best I can and winning some games for the Blues.

''I'll tell you what though, I enjoyed [Thursday's play] when we were whacking South Africa around and making them chase leather in the field. That did put a smile on my face.''

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