Matthew Wade to retire from first-class cricket

Matthew Wade is set to call time on his first-class cricket after the Sheffield Shield final for Tasmania. The clash will be held on March 21 between Tasmania and Western Australia in Perth. The title decider will mark the wicketkeeper-batter’s 166th and final match in first-class cricket.

Upon announcing his retirement, Wade confirmed that he would continue playing white-ball cricket for his country. He also expressed his gratitude towards all his teammates he has come across in first-class cricket. Notably, the 36-year-old has won four Sheffield Shield titles with Victoria, including two as captain.

“Firstly, I would like to thank my family, my wife Julia, and kids Winter, Goldie, and Duke, for the sacrifices they have made throughout my career, as I travelled Australia and the world as a red ball cricketer. I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenges that the long-form game provides, and although I will continue to play white ball cricket, wearing the baggy green while playing for my country remains a highlight of my career,” Wade said in a statement.

“I am grateful to all of my team-mates throughout my career, along with Cricket Victoria for providing me with the foundations to grow as a first-class cricketer, and Cricket Tasmania for supporting me in finishing my career as a cricketer in my home state,” he added.

The Hobart-born cricketer has featured in 36 Tests for Australia, scoring over 1600 runs at an average of 29.87, in a career spanning from 2012 to 2021. He lost the role of keeper after fellow Tasmanian Tim Paine replaced him in the 2017-18 Ashes series, but in 2019 he scored two centuries in the series against England. He has so far accumulated 9183 runs at an average of 40.81 and made 463 dismissals in first-class cricket.

“Red-ball cricket has always been my number one and favourite format. What I’m going to miss is sitting down after four days of really grinding it out in a first-class game and having a beer with your teammates. I’ve played franchise leagues around the world and you don’t get that feeling,” Wade said at a press conference in Hobart.

Wade hoping to win his fifth Sheffield Shield title

Matthew Wade is confident that Tasmania can cross the line and bring the Sheffield Shield title this year.

“The last Shield I managed to win was the first time an away team had won in a long time so hopefully I can wind back the clock and get it done again,” he added.

The 36-year-old went on to say that he wants to be in the best of cases for white-ball cricket, particularly in the Big Bash League (BBL). Interestingly, he has become a finisher in the shortest formats of the game in recent times. In addition, he signed a contract with Hobart Hurricanes for another two years.

“I want to be at my best for white-ball cricket, especially BBL. I feel like the squad we’ve got with the Hurricanes should be, it is spoken about every year…pushing for finals if not contending for titles. Not playing the longer format of the game will give me an opportunity to get stronger, get in the gym a bit more, and have some longevity in that format. I’ve got two years [with Hurricanes] but I’d love to play longer if I could. I feel fresh. There certainly isn’t [an element of] ‘I’m not playing well enough or I don’t feel I can contribute enough’. It’s more the younger players have managed to shove me out the door,” the former Test wicketkeeper- further said.