Marsh Sheffield Shield 2019-20
Renshaw steps back from cricket to recharge
Former Test opener, aged just 23, will take an unspecified amount of time away from the game to freshen up with the support of Queensland Cricket
12 February 2020, 07:56 PM AEST
Former Test opener Matthew Renshaw is to take a break from cricket "to freshen up" after he was dropped by the Queensland Bulls for this week's resumption of the Marsh Sheffield Shield.
Having gone 28 Shield innings without scoring a century since his last appearance for Australia in March 2018, Renshaw has decided to take a step back from the game in the short-term with the support of Queensland Cricket.
Bennett King, Queensland Cricket’s general manager of performance, pathways and coaching, said: “As part of our usual review process of player performance, our coaching and support staff spent time with Matthew this week and they all came to the conclusion that he would benefit from some time away from cricket.
"We’re confident Matthew will benefit from a break from the game to freshen up, and look forward to working with him once he is ready to resume playing," King told News Corp.
Renshaw had been expected to be named in a Cricket Australia XI to play the England Lions development squad in a four-day game in Hobart this week following his axing by Queensland, but the 23-year-old told selectors of his decision to step away from the game before the squad was announced.
No timeframe has been set on the Queenslander's return although it is expected to be only a few weeks to refresh after a long and difficult summer.
It's a dramatic change in fortunes for the left-hander, who was touted as a long-term opening prospect when he debuted at the age of just 20 against South Africa in 2016.
Even after he was dropped just days out from the 2017-18 home Ashes series, he showed his wares in an impressive county stint with Somerset the following winter, scoring three hundreds in just six games to storm back into Test calculations.
He was picked for Australia's Test tour of the UAE in late 2018 but, having suffered a concussion during a tour match leading into the series, he hasn't been sighted at international level since.
He averaged 22 from nine Shield matches last summer and managed just 182 runs at 20 in the first half of this Shield campaign.
However, his dip in form against the red ball has not been mirrored in the shorter formats, where he's transformed himself into a handy middle-order player for both Queensland in one-day cricket and Brisbane Heat in the KFC BBL.
The Bulls, who sit third on the Shield ladder, have been able to call on Test incumbents Marnus Labuschagne and Joe Burns as well as skipper Usman Khawaja for the match against Tasmania at the Gabba, with rookie Bryce Street - Queensland's leading run-scorer so far this season - tipped to open the batting alongside Burns in Renshaw's absence.
Queensland squad: Usman Khawaja (c), Joe Burns, Cameron Gannon, Sam Heazlett, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan McSweeney, Michael Neser, James Peirson, Bryce Street, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson, Jack Wildermuth