Australia A Tour of England - Men
Family sacrifice boosts Wade’s Ashes push
Wicketkeeper-batter reflects on the birth of his second child and looks ahead to a possible Test recall
Sam Ferris in Northampton
19 June 2019, 07:30 AM AEST
Gloveman Matthew Wade was a late arrival for Australia A’s tour of the UK, but he might not be here at all if it wasn't for a brave sacrifice by his wife Julia.
Wade joined the 'A' squad on Monday having stayed at home in Hobart for the birth of his second daughter, Goldie Hue, who came into the world last Wednesday.
Wade’s late arrival would have been even later if not for an intervention from his wife; with the departure date for the A tour edging closer and Goldie showing no signs that she was ready to arrive, Julia made the decision to be induced so her husband could be at the birth before travelling to England to push his case for an Ashes spot.
"I spoke to 'Cracker' (national selector Trevor Hohns) at the last Shield (game) when there was a bit of talk around players of interest, and I knew the dates were getting quite tight," Wade told cricket.com.au on Tuesday.
"We ended up inducing Julia, which is never ideal but it's a sacrifice that she was willing to make for me to come on this tour.
"I was probably leaning towards not going. She wanted me to go and feels like it's a good opportunity and I deserve the chance to come over here and play some cricket after a big 18 months.
"(I’m) very lucky that Julia's let me do it."
Wade described leaving his family – Goldie is a younger sister to three-and-a-half-year-old daughter Winter – as difficult, but added he was grateful for the chance to push his case for a second Ashes tour, having been understudy to Brad Haddin in 2013.
"It's never ideal when it's that close," Wade said.
"I feel bad leaving the girls at home, but I'm really lucky to have Julia and a lot of family in Hobart that are supportive enough to pick up little bit of the slack while I'm away and really help her out when she gets home.
"She (Goldie) is going really well, Julia is doing well. I had a couple of extra days at home to get right and sent Julia and the girls home with my family."
Wade has five one-dayers and three four-day matches for Australia A to convince the selectors he should be included in Australia's Ashes squad.
The left-hander demanded selection on the A tour after scoring 1021 runs at 60.05 in the JLT Sheffield Shield for Tasmania last summer, along with 592 runs at a strike rate of 146.89 for Hobart Hurricanes in the KFC BBL.
While he admits his international limited-overs career looks to be over, the 31-year-old can see himself making the Ashes squad as a wicketkeeper-batter to allow the selectors the option of picking an extra bowler.
"I'm not going to be getting selected as a first XI player," said Wade, who is battling for the role of secondary gloveman behind Test skipper Tim Paine.
"If I get an opportunity, it'll be if they want to take some extra bowling, whether they want to take two spinners.
"If they look down that road then maybe that dual role as the back-up keeper and spare batter is maybe where I fit in.
"If they don’t want to take so many bowlers then they might just go with a specialist keeper, I'm not 100 per cent sure.
"If it doesn't work out, it doesn't work out. That's the way cricket goes."
Australia A tour of the UK
Get live scores and all the latest news from Australia A's tour of the UK on cricket.com.au and the CA Live app
Australia A one-day squad: Travis Head (c), Matthew Wade, Will Pucovski, Peter Handscomb, Mitch Marsh (vc), D'Arcy Short, Kurtis Patterson, Ashton Agar, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood (vc), Sean Abbott, Andrew Tye
Australia A four-day squad: Tim Paine (c), Marcus Harris, Kurtis Patterson, Will Pucovski, Travis Head (vc), Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Mitch Marsh, Michael Neser, Jon Holland, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird, Josh Hazlewood (vc), Chris Tremain
June 20: Australia A v Northamptonshire, The County Ground, Northamptonshire
June 23: Australia A v Derbyshire, County Ground, Derby
June 25: Australia A v Worcestershire, New Road, Worcester
June 30: Australia A v Gloucestershire, Bristol Country Ground, Bristol
July 2: Australia A v Gloucestershire, Bristol Country Ground, Bristol
July 7-10: Australia A v Sussex, Arundel Castle Cricket Ground, Arundel
July 13-16: Australia A v England Lions, The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury
July 23-26: Australia v Australia A, Ageas Bowl, Hampshire