The T20 World Cup is over, and it’s Australia who lifted the trophy for the first time ever in this format. The final was almost one-sided when Mitchell Marsh and David Warner took control of the game. Australia won the match by eight wickets against New Zealand. However, the semi-final between Australia and Pakistan was a thriller. Pakistan was in the game till the 18th over. But it was unsung hero Matthew Wade who broke Pakistan fans’ hearts.
A southpaw scored 41 runs in just 17 runs and became Man of the Match. However, not many people know that Matthew Wade is color blind and overcame testicular cancer at the age of 16. Here is the inspirational story of Matthew Wade.
Cancer At The Age Of 16
Australian wicketkeeper batter Matthew Wade was 16 when he got to know by chance that he had testicular cancer. He was in for treatment after he got hit on the groin during a football game. Talking to Sydney Morning Herald, Matthew Wade once told,
“I went in and got it checked and the doctor basically said if I hadn’t been hit in the testicle, maybe I would never have known the tumor was there, so I was pretty lucky I got hit in the n*** and got it checked.
It was just a surreal sort of thing. It didn’t hit home until I sat there and they told me basically that I was going to go through chemotherapy and lose my hair and all that sort of stuff. As a young bloke at 16, I think that’s when it hit home that this was pretty serious.”
Before that I didn’t really know, I just thought I’d have an operation and it would be taken care of. Then, sitting down and talking about it, I realized how serious it was, and I was pretty lucky to get through it.”
Worked As A Plumber
Matthew Wade recalled when the cancer treatment was going on; he felt that professional sport was out of the question for him. So he took up an apprenticeship as a plumber. Matthew Wade added,
“For a couple of years I really just sat back and enjoyed the little things. I wasn’t as driven for a period. I was scared about the treatment. It knocked me physically and it took a long time to get back to where I had left off. Physically losing hair and stuff, I was a bit shy in getting back with the boys.”
Matthew Wade Has Color Blindness
Matthew Wade is color blind. He had problems with the pink ball in day-night Test matches. Talking about it, he added,
“It’s just at times it takes a little bit longer to work out the depth of where it’s coming. I can see the color of the ball, so I pick it up.”
Even former Australian Test opener Chris Rogers suffered from color-blindness. As a result, he withdrew from a pink-ball match in 2014.
Worked As Carpenter
In the year 2018, when Matthew Wade was out of the team, he fell out of love with the game. So he took up an apprenticeship as a carpenter. He worked on his home for 9 to 10 months. Speaking to Athletesvoice, Matthew Wade added,
“I wanted to get into the development side of things. I worked three days a week and had family and cricket time outside of it. I lost the appreciation of it (the privilege of being a cricketer) for a while. Coming to work, realizing how to live a normal life and how hard people worked from digging holes, boring concrete, and the nail gun, played a big role in where I am now on a cricket field.”
Preponing The Child Delivery
He would not have made a comeback post carpentry had it not been for his wife. Matthew Wade was selected for ‘A’ team tour before the Ashes. He called his wife Julia and told her that he would inform the selectors he didn’t want to be picked. Matthew Wade added,
“I was pretty adamant at the time that I would not go if asked. I was thinking I had played enough ‘A’ and international cricket that they know what I can do.”
However, his wife had other thoughts. She called up the doctors to have them deliver the baby earlier than the scheduled date. Speaking to The Cricketer, Matthew Wade recalled,
“She said ‘I want you to do it, I do not want you to live with regret if they pick someone else and you are sitting at home watching. You have worked so hard to get back and I do not want them to have any excuses not to pick you again’.” We had Goldie in Melbourne and I snuck off three days later. I did not see them again until after the second Ashes Test a few months later.”
Tattoo Of Phillip Hughes
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He even has a tattoo of his late friend Phillip Hughes. An Australian batter lost his life after a ball hit him on his head. Even Matthew Wade has a test cap number 408 of Phillip Hughes on his bat. It displays a perfect example of friendship.
The story of Matthew Wade inspires us and gives us a message that keeps our willpower strong. The way Matthew Wade played in the semi-final was simply outstanding. Because of his innings, Australia cruised to the finals and ultimately lifted the World Cup.