While Matthew Wade acknowledges that the end of his international career is near, the Australian T20 wicketkeeper has unfinished business ahead of possibly the two biggest crowds he has ever played before.
The first of those challenges awaits Sunday night when Wade enters Narendra Modi Stadium for local team Gujarat Titans in this year’s Indian Premier League final.
He hopes the second – and arguably the perfect swan song for an 11-year international career – will be a T20 World Cup final at the MCG in November, as Australia aims to go back-to-back, Wade revealed. to cricket.com.au is probably his last campaign in national colors.
“I’m going home after (the upcoming tour of) Sri Lanka for about five weeks, playing the Hundred and then jumping straight into international cricket,” the 34-year-old, who is part of Australia’s T20 squad for the three-year-old game series in Colombo and Kandy, said from Ahmedabad in western India.
“There is a lot of T20 cricket coming up before the World Cup, and after the World Cup it will be for me in terms of international cricket.
“I will look at my options but how I feel at the moment I still want to play domestic cricket for Tassie (Tasmania) … I really like the camaraderie of domestic cricket and playing with the same players over an extended period of time and together somewhere to aim for.
“I also have a young family, I also like to be at home a bit more and that opportunity to do both is something that still interests me.”
Wade hit 35 out of 30 balls in the IPL qualifier to help secure Gujarat’s place in the decider in their first season in the competition, and a crowd of over 100,000 is expected to show up to watch them take it down against the Rajasthan Royals for the title.
“We came up here first when we first came here, we had a small camp here so I’ve seen the stadium, it’s pretty impressive,” Wade said.
“If they pack that in, it’s going to be a great atmosphere.
“The older you get, the crowd plays less of a role, but once you start with the numbers they could be talking about, it becomes a cool vibe and one that I thought I’d never see again., so I take it all in one enjoy it.
“I like big games, I like finals, it’s something that I’ve really enjoyed during my career, which is that I can make a few appearances in finals and hopefully I can do that in the (IPL) final.”
It had been 11 years since Wade last appeared in the IPL, having played three games for the then Delhi Daredevils in 2011, as a 23-year-old.
The wicketkeeper said the ongoing campaign was a frustrating tournament for him personally; he has reached double figures in all sizes two of his nine innings, but that 35 against Rajasthan last Tuesday was his highest score of the season.
Wade also played six games off the team in the middle of the tournament after a run of low scores when the Titans chose an extra bowler.
But, as he said, he has a good track record in key matches, with scores of 108 and 96 in Sheffield Shield deciders, and his stunning 41 not off 17 balls in last year’s T20 World Cup semi-final against Pakistan. one of his finest moments for Australia.
“As a player, if there’s a legitimate reason you’re not playing then it’s pretty easy and the reason I was locked out at that point is that Hardik (Pandya) got injured so we came up one bowler short,” he said. wade.
“We actually came up one batter short and took a little pump with Rashid (Khan) hitting seven, which was worth kicking; he was great at seven, so that was why I went out of the team at first and then the way that Rashid, (David) Miller and (Rahul) Tewatia batted, there was no reason to play the extra batter.
“It has been a frustrating tournament personally, I hit the ball well, especially since I came back to the team.
“It just didn’t quite click. I’ve kind of found the outfield players, I’ve just found ways to get out, but I’ve played enough to know that this mainly happens during T20 for a period of time, but you just have to stay brave … and keep swinging the bat like you know you can swing it.”
After Wade’s next assignment in Sri Lanka, he will join Birmingham Phoenix in the English Hundred competition.
But despite signaling his interest in a three- or four-game England county T20 stint ahead of the Hundred, Wade doesn’t expect to become a full-fledged global T20 freelancer.
“I’m not so much chasing franchise cricket, if it comes my way and I can play it, then I play it,” Wade said.
“If this is it for me – one year, two years, three years at IPL – I’m not too worried.
“If I can play them outside the Australian season, I’m probably leaning more towards that path at the moment.
“I just want to feel comfortable, spend some time with my family after the World Cup and see where the last years of my career will be.”
Coaching is also on Wade’s agenda and he is willing to end his playing career if the right opportunity comes his way in the next two years.
But for now, he is still focused on being a versatile cricketer who can be both a first-class batter and a finisher.
“I don’t really try to let a position dictate how I play too much, it’s something I’ve really enjoyed in the second half of my career,” he said.
“Going forward I’m not stuck in any position, I’m comfortable in most of those positions and hopefully I can get better and better and find a way to play multiple positions in multiple tournaments.”
The 2022 Indian Premier League will be broadcast live in Australia on Fox Sports and streamed live on Kayo
Australians in IPL 2022
Capitals of Delhi: Mitchell Marsh, David Warner
Gujarat Titans: Matthew Wade
Kolkata Knight Riders: Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch
Lucknow Supergiants: Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye
Mumbai Indians: Tim David, Daniel Sams, Riley Meredith
Punjab Kings: Nathan Ellis
Rajasthan Royals: Nathan Coulter-Nile
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Glenn Maxwell, Josh Hazlewood, Jason Behrendorff
Sunrise Hyderabad: Sean Abbott