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Wade not warned over pitch tampering

Brydon Coverdale

November 28, 2013

Comments: 13 | Text size: A | A

Matthew Wade watches on as he serves his suspension, Western Australia v Victoria, Sheffield Shield, Perth, 1st day, November 22, 2013
Matthew Wade had to watch from the sidelines as Victoria lost in Perth © Getty Images
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Matthew Wade has said he had no warning from the umpires on field before he was suspended for pitch tampering and declared that he had done "the same thing" in every Sheffield Shield match he had played. Wade, the Victoria captain, was banned for one match after Cricket Australia found him guilty of altering the state of the pitch during Victoria's recent match against Tasmania at Bellerive Oval.

Cricket Australia said in a statement that Wade had been found guilty of "creating a long valley within the protected area by means other than natural wear and tear" while he was batting in Victoria's first innings. Wade was reported by the umpires for breaching the section of the Code of Behaviour that deals with "unfair play", and the match referee Daryl Harper upheld the report.

Wade was fined 50% of his match fee and suspended for one Shield game, a penalty that was upheld despite an appeal from Wade and Cricket Victoria. On-field umpires warn bowlers against running on the so-called "danger area" of the pitch in their follow-throughs and can also warn batsmen against running down the middle of the pitch, but Wade said he had no indication from the officials that anything he did while batting was considered a problem.

"No, I had no indications," Wade said on Thursday. "I got told on the last day, before the fourth day. That's when I found out. We went to the hearing that night and then I had a hearing a few days later. No real word during the game."

Wade scored 119 during the innings in question, on a challenging Hobart surface, and he was at the crease for 208 deliveries across two days without any warning from the umpires. Although he was unwilling to describe the actions that got him in trouble, Wade said he believed he had done nothing wrong and nothing different to usual.

"It's a bit hard to go into. There's been plenty of appeals and I've had my chance to say what I've had to say," Wade said. "The people who need to hear what has happened have heard what my side of the story is. I'm not going to stand here and go into the appeal, what I said in the appeal is the truth and exactly as I saw it, and the people who need to hear it have heard it.

"It's alleged that I was tampering with the pitch, that's all I can say ... My initial reaction was it wasn't a big deal. To find out that I'd got suspended wasn't ideal and I was disappointed with everything that went on, and disappointed with myself for putting myself in that situation. But it is what it is, I've got to move on and own that now.

"I've played 70 Shield games and I've done the same thing every Shield game. The wicket was a little bit more underdone than probably what I'm used to playing on. I've got to be a little bit more aware of those situations and make myself better."

Wade is preparing to resume his place in the Victoria side for their match against South Australia, starting at the MCG on Friday. He said the most difficult part of the saga was to travel with the squad to Perth before his appeal, and then to have to watch them suffer an innings defeat at the hands of Western Australia without being able to help them on field.

"It's been disappointing to say the least," Wade said. "A week ago the allegations came out and I went to an appeal and the rest is history. It's been disappointing but the hardest thing was to watch the boys in Perth. I was over there trying to do my bit, trying to help out and do a little bit of coaching."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by catchoftheday on (November 28, 2013, 16:51 GMT)

I think all this talk about the relative merits of Haddin, Wade and Paine only proves one thing, despite our personal loyalties and favourites - Australia is blessed with three top class 'keepers at the moment. And you can't write off Hartley or Nevill either. Haddin, as incumbent, should keep the top job, certainly after a very good Gabba Test. But as always happens as a player gets older, Haddin has two younger men waiting to take his place. It is up to both younger men to keep their form up should a call up be needed. The competition between Paine and Wade will be intriguing to follow.

Posted by Mitty2 on (November 28, 2013, 15:15 GMT)

@simoc, interesting point. People make genralisations of that Indian series quickly and it's easy to forget how poor Dhoni's keeping was as well. Those pitches were dreadful and obviously hard for keeping but Haddin had a good fist of it in his one test. On the issue of Watson's vice captaincy, it's probably not true considering that Haddin was in good form and Wade was not. Everyone was calling for Wade's head and we obviously needed leadership (we might have gone overboard with all of Rogers, Bailey, Haddin) - so the decision to get Haddin back was easy and not forced by Twatto giving up the role.

Posted by Mitty2 on (November 28, 2013, 15:09 GMT)

@sir_francis, he's said it before - it's disagreeing on a personal level! I've only been watching cricket since late 1990s so I'm just commenting from that experience and Wade certainly tops the lot - Gilchrist, Healy, Haddin, Paine, Manou (lol) - but also not just for Aus - he gives Kamran Akmal a run for his money! Actually I'm not going that far. Regardless I think for all Wade's chirpinesss and eh mixed abilities behind the stumps he has leadership potential and a place in Australia's future as a batter only. Right now the balance of the Vics would be better with Wade higher up the order and Handscomb lower - as a keeper.

Posted by ScottStevo on (November 28, 2013, 10:05 GMT)

Haddin over Wade in every single department. Wade has a habit of looking ridiculous when getting out, normally due to the ridiculous nature in which he throws his wicket away at excruciatingly poor times. Unlike Haddin who is much more dependable in a scrap. Wade needs to mature as an individual before we think of selecting him as he hasn't got the right mentatlity for test cricket; as either a batsmen and certainly not as a keeper. I'd prefer to have Paine come in before I'd take Wade.

Posted by Simoc on (November 28, 2013, 9:53 GMT)

The fairy flosses are out. Wade would be in the test team if Watson hadn't dumped vice captaincy a while back. But Haddin is a better and more experienced keeper and was the incumbent. So every keeper would get dropped if dropping catches in India was the criteria. Certainly the so called best, Prior couldn't catch a thing there. Who gets picked when Haddin goes? Probably Wade. He's experienced now.

Posted by Sir_Francis on (November 28, 2013, 9:33 GMT)

Firstly, despite being a NSWelshman, Hartley is the best keeper, still. Secondly, Chris P, unless you know Mitty 2 how can disagree with him???!!! He may never even have seen Phillips. He said Wade is the worst "he's" seen. Phillips was a very long time ago.

Posted by Chris_P on (November 28, 2013, 8:21 GMT)

@Mitty. I probably have to disagree with you. I think Wayne "Flipper" Phillips was worse! But at least he never wanted to keep & wrecked a promising career as a batsman by beiing forced to keep. @Front-Foot-Clunge. That post would have had to have been a gee-up. No-one with even a semblance of cricket knowledge would think Wade was even a half decent keeper! His batting, though, is good enough to be worthy of a middle order spot, I do rate his batting.

Posted by Dashgar on (November 28, 2013, 6:53 GMT)

Wade's keeping has been poor but his batting has been better than most of our middle order, much better than Haddin's. He has 2 centuries in 12 tests compared to 3 in 50 for Haddin. Hopefully Wade cleans up his glovework because generally he moves really well (better than Haddin) he just has some bad habbits and inexplicably drops easy ones which has to be a concentration thing. For Victoria he's always been considered a very good keeper, that's what got him into the team ahead of Crosthwaite, it just hasn't happened for him at international level for whatever reason.

Posted by JamalAJackson on (November 28, 2013, 6:09 GMT)

@Fron-Foot-Clunge Wow, I don't believe you would have said that. Wade is terrible, out of form and very untidy behind the stumps. Haddin, on the other hand, is in form, is very good at keeping and also gets Australia out of difficult situations, like the 1st Ashes Test at the Gabba just the other day. A "keeper-batsman" is not how Wade should be described. A "sort-of-good keeper who doesn't bat" is a much better way of describing. Personally, I believe his bowling is better than his batting and soon, his keeping, if his standard doesn't improve dramatically.

You, are a complete fool to think that Wade is better than Haddin.

Posted by Mitty2 on (November 28, 2013, 6:06 GMT)

@shutthegate, and the SL series, and the SA tour and every other tour. And by "some catches" he dropped four on in one match - to Lyon's obvious detriment. Worst keeper I've seen play for Aus in memory and I just hope he gives up on his keeping (gives the gloves to Handscomb) and focuses on his talented batting. He's already had more test centuries than the likes of Smith and Khawaja

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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