Veteran wicketkeeper Matthew Wade says he doesn’t expect to be picked for Australia again but will continue to play as much T20 cricket as possible to keep his faint hopes alive.
Wade, who turns 35 on Boxing Day, indicated earlier this year the 2022 T20 World Cup would likely be his last assignment for Australia, particularly if the Aussies won the tournament.
While Australia was eliminated in the Super 12s stage, Wade was crucial behind the stumps during the tournament. And he’s had a great start to his BBL12 campaign, with scores of 35 and 51 respectively in his first two games for the Hobart Hurricanes.
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However Scorchers star Josh Inglis has long been touted as the next T20 wicketkeeper for Australia. Josh Philippe, Jimmy Peirson and current Test/ODI gloveman Alex Carey would also be in the mix.
Speaking frankly to Fox Cricket on Thursday night, Wade said he would continue to play for the Hurricanes and Tasmania across the summer and see where that would lead him.
“That’s the plan at the moment, to be honest. I’m in contact with Andrew McDonald and George Bailey. I’ll just play as much as I can T20 in the next 12 months and see where it lands,” Wade told Fox Cricket.
“I’ve got no expectations of being picked again for Australia – if I do, I’d love to play obviously – but if they want to have a look at (Josh) Inglis or the next keeper leading into the 2024 World Cup, I’m more than happy about that.
“I’ll be around there still playing hopefully when that rolls around and if I get an opportunity to play again, I’d love to.”
Wade has been a consistent presence across all three formats for Australia over the past decade.
He began his Test career as a wicketkeeper batting at No. 7 before reinventing himself as a middle order batter where he played a crucial role in the Aussies’ 2019 Ashes victory. In the T20 format, he opened at one stage before becoming a keeper/lower-order finisher, highlighted by his excellent 2021 T20 World Cup campaign, which included his matchwinning 41 not out against Pakistan in the semi-final.
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Legendary keeper Adam Gilchrist said Wade’s selfless attitude regarding the future direction of Australian cricket was admirable.
“I think he values the extended Australian career that he was afforded,” Gilchrist told Fox Cricket.
“Whether he would’ve thought he was on the scrap heap when he came in for a few years and he was in the wilderness and then he got re-called in Test cricket and then slipped out of favour. But then in the white-ball game in this format, he was in the most recent IPL-winning team.
“To say that openly (if Australia’s selectors want to blood the next T20 keeper) … it’s a wonderful attitude about the holistic approach of the Australian team at the minute.”
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Long-time teammate Adam Zampa said Wade was the type of player “you’d love walking onto the park with”.
“He’s always in the contest, he loves the fight and he’s the kind of guy who goes out of his way to try and pick one just to get into the contest. I love playing with him,” Zampa told Fox Cricket.
“To still be in international cricket, to play so many different roles – at Hobart he opens the batting and plays top order, but in the Australian team he’s done one of the hardest jobs you can do to come in at No. 6 and 7 and finish games off.
“He was massive in that World Cup for us, so to be his age, to be in and out of the international set-up so much, to have the drive and competitiveness to keep improving his game, is really impressive.”