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Shirin Sadikot in Johannesburg

Thumbs up Brad Haddin

For Sydney Sixers captain self-belief triumphs over broken thumb

In the end, a broken thumb couldn’t stop Brad Haddin from leading the Sydney Sixers to the Karbonn Smart Champions League Twenty20 2012 title. He got hit in the semi-final, against the Titans, went for a scan the next morning and was back on the field for the grand finale, his left thumb wrapped in a multi-layered bandage.

On the eve of the match, when asked about the injury, Haddin said the chances of him playing in the final were 50-50. But as the Sydney Sixers’ fans would’ve hoped, the captain walked out for the toss on a pleasant evening in Johannesburg. At the end of the match, Haddin’s thumb had to bear some more exertion, as he had to lift the massive CLT20 silverware. But Haddin wasn’t complaining.

What stood out in the Sixers’ 10-wicket win over the Highveld Lions was the authority with which they swept their opposition aside. The Sixers looked like they’d already won it in their minds.

“I think this performance has been coming from us since the last two weeks. We were very nervous during the semi-final game but in the build-up for this game the guys were very relaxed. We knew we had this kind of performance due and it came against a good side in the final,” Haddin told

The Sixers walked on to the Wanderers as a team with a plan and the equanimity to execute it. Their opponents got struck by the enormity of the occasion and succumbed to big-match pressure.

“It was the pressure that we created as a team that affected the Lions,” Haddin said. “We had a very good presence out there. We changed a few things up front and it did work for us. We’ve been building for this game for about two weeks.”

Playing and winning the CLT20 means different things to different cricketers. For a young man starting out, it’s an opportunity to gauge his skills against the best and grow as a cricketer. For an old warhorse, it’s way to ease their way into the sunset. But how could a tournament like this help the wicketkeeper of Australia’s Test side? Haddin finds pleasure in the opportunity to build a side.

“I think the exciting thing about this tournament is that you get to start something from the ground.,” he said. “And to get this far in our very first time in this tournament is very commendable. I have to tip my hat to Stuart Clark and all the support staff members for the way.”

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