Matt Renshaw, the Australia Test opener, has been introduced by Somerset for the 2018 County Championship. He has replaced tainted Cameron Bancroft.
The 25-year-old Western Australia-based Bancroft was signed by the county club last year (2017). But had to terminate his contract after his involvement in Sandpaper Gate during the third Test in Cape Town.
Incidentally, Bancroft replaced Renshaw in Test side last year and Renshaw reclaimed his Test spot when he (Bancroft) was banned in the wake of a ball-tampering scandal in March.
Now, Renshaw has also replaced Bancroft in county side to impress selectors back home with his solid performances.
“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to play alongside some very experienced players and the exciting young talent that is coming through at Taunton. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the club and I understand that I will be following in the footsteps of some outstanding Australian batsmen. It will be a new challenge for me but it’s one that I’m really looking forward to,” Renshaw said on signing.
The left-handed batsman Renshaw made his Test debut for Australia against South Africa in 2016. It came when CA selectors overhauled the Test squad.
He went to partner David Warner for one year, before being dropped for the Magellan Ashes 2017-18 following poor form.
During the period, he played 11 Test matches in which he scored 636 runs at an average of 33.47.
Renshaw earned his recall for the fourth Test against South Africa in Johannesburg after three players were dropped.
To replace the trio including Steven Smith and his deputy David Warner, Renshaw along with Joe Burns and Glenn Maxwell, flew to South Africa for the final Test.
However, he could just manage scores of five and eight in the two innings he played. Australia lost the final Test and trailed the series by a margin of 1-3.
Matt Renshaw is now in contention to again fix his place in the Test side after the banning of two openers. However, county stint will be helpful for him.
Keeping next year’s Ashes in mind – which is to be played in England – it is also an opportunity for him to make most out of this opportunity.
The county season starts today (April 13) in England. Somerset will kick off their campaign against Worcestershire in Taunton from April 20.
Meanwhile, Dean Elgar has replaced Australian Mitchell Marsh in Surrey camp.
The all-rounder had decided to skip IPL to be part of county cricket. However, he was ruled out due to an ankle injury.