From rivals to team mates, two boys from Tassie spoil the Scorchers party!

Wade and Paine, from rivals to team mates. Two boys from Tassie

55,000 orange clad West Australians crammed into the ‘Craypot’ (nickname for the new Perth Optus stadium), but their party was spoiled in part by two Tassie boys who grew up a few streets apart and whose careers met in the middle that night in a most unusual way. At the start of the BBL semi-final between the Hobart Hurricanes and the Perth Scorchers, which remarkably the Hurricanes won by 71 runs, two purple clad Hurricanes openers stood at the wicket, Tim Paine and Matthew Wade must have thought back to old times and the strange confluences of life and cricket.

Paine (who is older by three years) and Wade grew up together in the Hobart suburb of Lauderdale a place surrounded by water with its own canal running through it. Backyard cricket matches between the pair must have been something to see as both young men dreamed of making it to the top.

Both are from good sporting stock. Wade’s father Scott played football for Hawthorn in the 1980s and for a long time was the CEO of the game’s governing body in Tasmania. Paine’s uncle is Robert Shaw a well-known AFL identity as a player with Essendon and former coach of Fitzroy and the Adelaide Crows.

The similarities don’t end there. Both players have represented Australia at the very highest level though having shared the same suburban origins they have done so by divergent paths.

When Matthew Wade played his first game for Tasmania in the 06/07 season it was to be the briefest of tenures. With a young Tim Paine already on the scene as an emerging and also very talented keeper batsman the younger of the two (Wade) opted for a move to Melbourne to chase opportunity and national honours.

By 2011 things had worked out sufficiently well for the adopted Victorian but always Tasmanian keeper to make his test debut against the West Indies.

At that time Tim Paine’s career had been side-tracked by a finger injury that would take repeated bouts of surgery and many wasted seasons to come good.

At the start of this season Matthew Wade was the incumbent national keeper in Test Matches and ODIs and Paine his finger now stable wearing the national colours in the T20 team.

A few short months later at this relatively late stage of the season things have taken another twist. Matthew Wade is now residing in his home town of Hobart again and is playing full time for his home state – including the Hurricanes and Paine is established as the test and ODI keeper.

The upshot is that last night in Perth the current test keeper and his predecessor opened the batting dressed in purple for the same team, which happens to represent the city they grew up in.

In the semi- final it was Wade who excelled with a brilliant 71 off 45 balls. When the final comes around on Sunday and the pair are out in the middle again given the pattern of things it might be Paine who is in the ascendancy.

Rivals and team mates all over again.

** Photo BBL.com.au

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