Wade to retire from red-ball cricket after Shield final

The 36-year-old will continue to play white-ball formats for both Tasmania and Hobart Hurricanes

The Marsh Sheffield Shield final will be Matthew Wade's final first-class match with the veteran today confirming he would retire from red-ball cricket.

Wade, who is delaying his arrival at the Indian Premier League to play in the Shield final with his native Tasmania, told his state teammates of his decision before their final round fixture against South Australia.

Wade will continue playing white-ball formats and is expected to be part of Australia's T20 World Cup squad that travels to the Caribbean in June, and has two more seasons on his deal with the Hobart Hurricanes.

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"I want to be at my best for white-ball cricket, especially BBL," he said on Friday. "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 Hobart) 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 36-year-old, who earned a Baggy Green in 2012, played 36 Test matches as both a wicketkeeper and specialist batter between 2012 and 2021.

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Wade won four Shield titles during a decade playing with Victoria, two as the side's skipper, before returning to Tasmania ahead of the 2017-18 summer, a season in which he was part of a losing Shield final side to Queensland.

"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," Wade said today. 

"Red-ball cricket has always been my number one and favourite format," added Wade, who has 9183 runs at an average of 40.81 and 463 dismissals from 165 first-class games.

"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, who overcame testicular cancer as a teenager, thanked his wife Julia, family and junior club at Clarence for their support.

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"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," Wade said in a statement to announce his retirement.

"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.

"I am grateful to all of my teammates 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."

To date Wade has scored 9,183 first-class runs at an average of 40.81 // Getty

Having played as Tasmania's wicketkeeper in the first-half of this summer's Shield season, long spells resulted in back stiffness that caused Wade to miss four games for the Hurricanes during KFC BBL|13. He returned to the side as an opener for the first time at Shield level in his 17-year career, and is expected to open the batting in the final against Western Australia in Perth starting Thursday.

Tasmania men's head coach Jeff Vaughan spoke of Wade's professionalism and the important role he played in Tasmanian cricket since coming back to the state.

"I would like to personally thank and congratulate Matthew for all he has done for Tasmania and Australia in red-ball cricket, he was always professional, and never shied away from the contest," Vaughan said.

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"While his career with our Shield squad may be coming to an end, we look forward to still having him around our group in white ball cricket for the coming years playing for the Tigers, and in purple for the Hurricanes.

"We hope that we can help send him off with a win in the Sheffield Shield Final next week, and we know that he has given his all for our badge every time he played for Tasmania."