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IPL franchise Pune Warriors in pursuit of Oz keeper Wade

Sydney: Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Pune Warriors are looking to sign Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade to play for them after trying to entice Oz captain Michael Clarke.

The Victorian is free to bargain with IPL teams after being paid out of his contract with Delhi, as part of the Daredevils’ successful plan to free squad positions for their high-profile recruitment drive.

Pune is in pursuit of a wicketkeeper after releasing Australian Tim Paine, who has a long-term finger injury.

Last season Paine could only play one match, and the Warriors had to rely on part-time wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa for the rest of the tournament, The Age reports.

At present, the Warriors` only specialist wicketkeeper is Eklayva Dwivedi, an inexperienced 23-year-old Indian.

The two-month fixture gap for Australia straight after the West Indies tour will give players the opportunity to play in the second half of the IPL season, in which teams play 14 matches, plus finals depending on results.

Callum Ferguson, James Hopes and Steve Smith are the other three Australians who have already signed up with the Warriors, as also Wade`s Melbourne Stars teammate Luke Wright.