Matthew Wade returns to Tasmania but will he wear the gloves?

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    Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade’s anticipated Tasmanian homecoming has been confirmed but there’s no guarantee he’ll be the Tigers’ first-choice gloveman.

    The 29-year-old spent the past decade playing for Victoria, after leaving the island state for more opportunities away from the shadow of fellow ‘keeper-batsman Tim Paine.

    Wade indicated earlier in the year he was keen to return home to Hobart and was on Thursday named in the Tigers’ list of contracted players for the 2017-18 season.

    But with Paine also in the squad, coach Adam Griffith said he was yet to settle on his first-choice wicketkeeper.

    “We’ll look at that,” he said when asked who had the front running.

    “I still think Tim’s one of the best glovemen in the country.”

    Griffith, who in April replaced the sacked Dan Marsh in the wake of a horror one-win Sheffield Shield campaign, said Wade’s decision was based around family.

    “He’s a Tasmanian boy at heart so I think he’s been looking forward to the opportunity to come home again and set his life up down here,” Griffith said.

    Wade joins paceman Jackson Bird as the only two nationally-contracted players in the Tasmanian squad.

    Griffith said his young squad would tap into the duo’s experience, when the pair aren’t away on national duty.

    Wade has trained in every pre-season session with the Tigers, which involved a gruelling hike across Tasmania.

    Veteran batsman George Bailey will again captain the squad, which includes five new faces — among them futures league player of the year Tom Rogers from the ACT.

    Spots in the Tigers’ top 11 are wide open ahead of the one-day competition in a little over a month, Griffith said.

    “Those guys that are taking wickets and making runs will get an opportunity,” he said.

    © AAP 2017

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