Matthew Wade, Australia’s T20 World Cup hero, has disclosed that he played the final against New Zealand while suffering from a grade 2 side strain. Wade’s 17-ball 41 in the semifinal chase against Pakistan dragged Australia back from the brink and amazingly got them over the line. Wade capped Australia’s comeback with two ramp shot sixes off one of the tournament’s most lethal spinners, Shaheen Afridi, to put Australia on track to win their first-ever T20 WC title.

“I was very worried the night before the game,” Wade admitted. “I wouldn’t have played if I hadn’t woken up and couldn’t swing the bat. They would have had to strap me to the bed, in my opinion. I was always planning on going out and having a good time. But I wouldn’t have played if I thought it would be detrimental to the team.”

Wade also said that on the eve of the final, he tried to mask his discomfort in training and felt ‘quite fine,’ but Glenn Maxwell called his bluff.

“Before the game, I went out and hit some balls and bluffed my way through it. Then they forced me to hit a few more, but I made it through and felt OK. He was striking underarms with caution (in the warm-ups)… ‘What’s going on here?’ I asked. ‘Hit the ball harder!’, “Maxwell remarked. “I’ve got a side strain,’ he explained. I was completely unaware.” Wade was unwilling to even look at his scan results, according to Australia skipper Aaron Finch, but he knew it would be difficult for the wicketkeeper batter because it came back as a grade-two rip in his side.

Finch admitted, “There was always a little bit of apprehension. He was compelled to get a scan by the doctor. He didn’t want to know the outcome, but I knew it would be difficult with a grade two rip in his side. But it would have been him if anyone was going to play. You’d have had to amputate his limb.”

“I think he did a fantastic job of keeping his cool (in the final). With a couple of dives and tosses in the backend, I saw him in a little discomfort. That, on the other hand, he never missed.”

Wade, who has lost his Test position for the next Ashes, plans to focus all of his efforts on next year’s T20 World Cup, which will be his final international assignment.