County news April 12, 2018

Renshaw replaces Bancroft at Somerset

Subhankar Bhattacharya

Matt Renshaw in action for Queensland © Getty Images

Matt Renshaw has replaced Cameron Bancroft as Somerset's overseas player following the ball-tampering incident in South Africa which caused Bancroft's suspension amid a global outcry.

Renshaw made a comeback to the national Test squad against South Africa at the end of March after Bancroft and his fellow opener David Warner were banned for nine months and a year respectively for their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal.

Now the left-handed Renshaw will now also be replacing Bancroft in Somerset's squad, and will be available to play all formats for the county until June 30, before returning on August 19 for the remainder of the season.

Renshaw had been fancied by many to win an Australia opening spot in the Ashes before his runs dried up and Bancroft's superior form won the day. Their careers continue to run in parallel.

Renshaw, 22, topped the charts in the recently concluded Sheffield Shield, finishing with 804 runs at an average of 45. Since making his international debut against South Africa in late 2016, he has made 13 Test appearances and has 630 Test runs under his belt so far.

He was particularly impressive against Pakistan in the 2017 New Year Test, where he entertained the Sydney crowd with a career-best 184. Renshaw got a well-made 68 against India in his first stint overseas, while fighting a stomach bug.

Cameron Bancroft speaks to the media in the aftermath of the ball-tampering incident © Getty Images

"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," he told the county's website. "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 was all an uncanny echo of the comments made by Bancroft just a few months earlier.

After having narrowly escaped relegation, Somerset will begin their 2018 campaign at home against last year's Division 2 winners Worcestershire on April 20. Renshaw's arrival will bring them considerable relief.