Wade not warned over pitch tampering
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