'I hope we don't try and play like NZ': Wade
Tasmania keeper urges Australia not to lose their spirited edge in the fallout from the ball-tampering scandal
29 April 2018, 03:22 PM AEST
Former Test wicketkeeper Matthew Wade has cautioned Australia to not "go too far the other way" as the team reassesses its approach in the wake of the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.
Wade was brought back into the Australia team in the home 2016 series against South Africa to add some aggression to a team that had lost their five previous Tests.
It was a controversial call that divided fans and pundits, replacing Peter Nevill, but he became a cult hero with his cries of "Nice Garry" over the stump mic when keeping up to Nathan Lyon.
But after underperforming with the bat, Wade was cut from the Australia team ahead of last summer, axed for his childhood friend and state teammate Tim Paine.
Events in Cape Town, where Cameron Bancroft used sandpaper in an attempt to rough up the ball on instruction from David Warner, and with Steve Smith complicit by failing to take steps to prevent it, changed everything.
Warner, Smith and Bancroft were all handed hefty bans by Cricket Australia, and Paine is now the Test captain having started the summer behind Wade as Tasmania's first-choice gloveman.
Paine has vowed Australia will reform their on-field approach, cut out the sledging and rebuild a tarnished reputation.
Wade, however, cautions Australia against moving too far away from their traditional approach.
"When I got back into the team (after five straight losses in 2016), there was a lot of media and public stir about how they wanted the team to have a crack through that period. They felt like we were rolling over a little bit," Wade told News Corp.
"I hope now we don't go too far the other way and lose all our drive … and try and play like New Zealand.
"Every team needs a bit of competitiveness on the field.
"What happened in South Africa wasn't a good look. But I just think we need to be careful about what direction we go in from here."
The Cape Town events have prompted plenty of consideration about the direction cricket takes. CA is to commission a wide-ranging independent review into cultural, organisational and governance issues in cricket, while a four-person panel chaired by ex-Test batsman Rick McCosker will look to create a charter to set out standards for improved player behaviour and expectations of the Australian men's national side.
The two processes will run in tandem, with no set deadline for recommendations to be made to the CA Board.
Wade, who says his combative vocal nature is "always the way I've been" will consider his own approach.
"You want to be playing for Australia, but there was certainly a part of me that was feeling a touch lucky I wasn't there (in Cape Town)," he said.
"When I came in, the game was a lot different, there's no doubt about that. But now the game is moving in a different direction and certainly with the stuff that's happened in South Africa I will look at the way I go about it."
The 30-year-old hit three centuries for Tasmania in the JLT Sheffield Shield last summer and averaged 43, but concedes an international recall is a remote hope.
Instead, he is enjoying life outside the Australian team's "bubble", having taken up a part-time building apprenticeship in Hobart for the winter as he looks towards a career after his playing days.
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"Certainly there's a lot of pressure (playing for Australia), and finding a way to deal with that when you have a young family is hard," Wade said.
"It probably hurts them as much as it hurts you at times.
"My wife used to tell me I was in the bubble sometimes. You just get carried away. It's great money and it's rewarding and you want to be doing it, don't get me wrong … but it's a hard lifestyle.
"I'm certainly more comfortable in life where I'm at now. I wake up every day and I have a great family. I'm doing something different starting a part-time apprenticeship and, having been involved as a professional cricketer for 12 years, learning something new every day doesn't happen all that much."