'No expectation of being picked again': Matthew Wade's candid response to Australia's T20 future

‘No expectation of being picked again’: Matthew Wade’s candid response to Australia’s T20 future

Veteran wicketkeeper Matthew Wade says he does not expect to be selected for Australia again but will continue to play as much T20 cricket as possible to keep his faint hopes alive.

Wade, who will celebrate his 35th birthday on Boxing Day, hinted earlier this year that the 2022 World T20 was likely to be his last assignment in Australia, especially if the Aussies win the tournament.

While Australia were knocked out at the Super 12s stage, Wade was crucial behind the stumps during the tournament. And he got his BBL12 campaign off to a flying start with scores of 35 and 51 in the 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 will also be in the mix.

Speaking to Fox Cricket on Thursday night, Wade said he would continue to play for the Hurricanes and Tasmania over the summer and see where it takes him.

“To be honest, that’s the plan at this point. I am in contact with Andrew McDonald and George Bailey. I will play as much T20 as I can in the next 12 months and see where it goes,” Wade told Fox Cricket.

Matthew Wade of Australia during the ICC Men’s Under-20 World Cup. Image: Bradley KanarisSource: Getty Images

“I don’t expect to be selected for Australia again – if I am, I’d obviously like to play – but if they want to look at (Josh) Inglis or another keeper leading up to the 2024 World Cup, I’m more than happy to do that.

“Hopefully I’ll play there when it happens again and if I get the chance to play again I’d love to.

Wade has been a consistent presence in all three formats for Australia over the last ten years.

He began his Test career as a wicketkeeper batting at No.7 before re-emerging as a middle-order batsman, playing a key role in the Aussies’ victory in the 2019 Ashes. In the T20 format, he started at one stage before becoming a lower-order keeper/finisher, highlighted by his outstanding campaign in the 2021 T20 World Cup, which included his 41-match win and not out against Pakistan in the semi-final.

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Legendary wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist said Wade’s selfless attitude about the future direction of Australian cricket was admirable.

“I think he appreciates the extended Australian career he’s been given,” Gilchrist told Fox Cricket.

“Whether he would have thought he was on a roll when he came in and was in the wilderness for a couple of years and then got recalled to Test cricket again and then fell out of favour. But then in a white ball game in this format, he was in the last team to win the IPL.

“To put it bluntly (if the Australian selectors want to blood another T20 wicketkeeper) … it’s a wonderful approach to the current holistic approach of the Australian team.”

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Longtime teammate Adam Zampa said Wade is the type of player you’d like to take a walk to the park with.

“He’s always in the competition, he loves the fight and he’s the type of guy who tries to pick one just to get into the competition.” I love playing with him,” Zampa told Fox Cricket.

“Being still in international cricket, playing so many different roles – in Hobart he opens the batting and plays the top order, but in the Australian team he has done one of the hardest jobs you can do to get to No.6 and No.7. and complete the games.

“He’s been huge for us at this World Cup, so to be at his age, to be in and out of the international environment, to have the drive and competitiveness to keep improving his game is really impressive.”

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