Hard work pays for Crosthwaite
Victoria's reinstated wicketkeeper Adam Crosthwaite says he sympathises with the man he has replaced, Matthew Wade, ahead of the Pura Cup final. Wade was the first-choice gloveman all summer but his runs dried up towards the end of the campaign and there were concerns over his work behind the stumps, and he was axed ahead of the Bushrangers' last preliminary game.
Crosthwaite had a similar experience in 2005-06 when he was dumped in favour of Nathan Pilon shortly before Victoria lost a Pura Cup decider to Queensland. He returned to the team the next season only to be dropped again at the start of 2007-08 after Wade transferred from Tasmania.
"It's been a bizarre week," Crosthwaite told the Age. "I guess a week ago, I didn't even know I was in the team and now I'm in the team and getting ready for the final. It's been a good week. It does give me an appreciation of what [Wade is] going through.
"When I went through it, it was heartbreaking and hard to get my head around and watch a team that you've played with all year play in the final. But then, I've done that all year myself, watched a team who I have played with for three seasons sitting on the sidelines. It's been hard. So I do understand how he must be feeling."
Crosthwaite was speaking before Victoria named their squad for the decider, which starts in Sydney on Saturday, however he was likely to retain his spot after a promising display against Queensland. A couple of diving catches during the match helped his cause, including a one-hander down leg-side to remove Chris Hartley.
It was a good reward for Crosthwaite, who had remained the state's one-day wicketkeeper and spent much of the season working on his glovework with his predecessor and now Victoria assistant coach Darren Berry. Crosthwaite had come a long way since the disappointment of being pushed aside to accommodate Wade.
"I sat down at the start of this season when I got dropped and thought about actually whether I wanted to play and how much I did want to play and where I wanted to be in life," Crosthwaite said. "I guess I realised pretty quickly that I wanted to play cricket and to do that, I would have to work my arse off to get back in."
Berry forced Crosthwaite to initiate all the training and hard work and he said it had paid off handsomely. "He had the kick up the arse and everyone was waiting to see how he responded and to his credit, he's responded really well," Berry said. "He's worked behind the scenes a lot. I'll give him credit, he's phoned me all the time. He's done a lot of stuff in the nets that no one's aware of."