OUTSPOKEN Australian wicketkeeper batsman Matthew Wade has been unveiled as Worcestershire’s overseas signing for the 2022 campaign.
The 33-year-old will move to Worcester in the spring with his wife and children and represent the Pears in all three formats of the game in a move hailed a ‘signal of intent’ by New Road chiefs.
Wade made headlines in the 2019 Ashes tour of England with his verbal jousts with a number of England players including captain Joe Root.
Club chiefs feel his experience of more than 170 international appearances across all three formats and his winning mentality will benefit the club’s crop of young players.
Wade has played 36 Tests, hitting four hundreds, 97 ODIs, and 43 T20Is in a lengthy and successful career with Australia.
He demonstrated his quality at the highest level when he hit two centuries against England in the drawn 2019 Ashes Series.
Wade captained Australia for the first time in a T20I versus India last December at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) and skippered Victoria to two Sheffield Shield titles. He has scored 8,492 first-class runs at an average of 40.82, in addition to 4,675 List A at 32.69 and 2901 T20 at 27.11.
While he lost his Cricket Australia central contract in April, Wade will skipper his country during the upcoming T20 tour of Bangladesh.
“I’m really looking forward to joining up with what’s an exciting group of players at Worcestershire for next season,” he said.
“I have always wanted to experience the challenge of a full season of county cricket, and I jumped at the opportunity to join Worcestershire as soon as it came about.
“New Road is one of the world’s most recognisable cricket grounds, and I loved playing there as part of the Ashes tour in 2019.
“I can’t wait to get going.”
Cricket Steering Group Chairman Paul Pridgeon revealed Wade had been signed primarily to play purely as a batsman and bolster the top five and had committed for the whole season.
“He is a real hard-nosed batter in red-ball cricket and a dangerous striker in white-ball cricket,” he said.
“He is a real winner, he knows how to win, and we feel that will rub off on some of the young lads and be good for their development.
“Matthew has also got a lot of captaincy experience, which will undoubtedly come in helpful to the likes of Joe Leach, Ben Cox and Jake Libby and people like that.
“It is almost like an old-fashioned overseas signing in the sense that he is going to come and play all formats for the entire season, something that does not happen very often now.
“It is great to get it done and dusted so early for next season.”