Matthew Scott Wade
December 26, 1987, Hobart, Tasmania
Left hand Bat
Right arm Medium
It has been a career of reinvention for Matthew Wade as he went from Test wicketkeeper to specialist middle-order batsman to T20I World Cup winning wicketkeeper/finisher via a prolific run in domestic cricket when it appeared his international days were over.
Early signs of promise in his Test career including a brace a centuries - where he jostled for the gloves alongside Brad Haddin, Tim Paine and Peter Nevill - did not quite secure him the position on a long-term basis and when his childhood mate, Paine, was handed the job for the 2017-18 Ashes it appeared Wade's time might be up. However, he moved from Victoria back to Tasmania and dominated state cricket for two seasons forcing many to call for his return to international cricket as a specialist batsman. He eventually earned a spot for the 2019 Ashes series during which he scored two centuries and has since also returned to the ODI and T20I set-ups. A brief successful stint as T20I opener in David Warner's absence, on the back of dominant BBL seasons as an opener with Hobart Hurricanes, saw him take over as Australia's first-choice T20I wicketkeeper in 2020-21. He captained the T20I team in two series while Aaron Finch was out. He was vice-captain for the 2021 T20 World Cup and recast as a finisher. Despite doubts about his finishing ability, he delivered arguably the most important innings of the T20 World Cup in the semi-final against Pakistan to get Australia home and they went on to win the title.
Wade is known for his grit and determination, but the fact that he played any international cricket at all is a credit to his mental toughness: when only 16, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer, and required two cycles of chemotherapy to defeat the illness. Then, at 19, he made another crucial move, from Hobart to Melbourne, when he realised he would be stuck behind Paine in the Tasmanian wicketkeeping queue. Victoria immediately gave him a chance, and he grabbed it, making 83 and pouching six catches on his first-class debut. He would later become a Sheffield Shield-winning captain for Victoria leading them to two of their hat-trick of titles between 2015 and 2017.
Wade was a talented junior footballer - his father Scott played in the VFL for Hawthorn - but at 170cm decided he was too short to make a career out of it and pursued cricket instead.
Batting & Fielding