Somerset have signed Australia opener Matt Renshaw as a replacement for his international team-mate Cameron Bancroft.
The county announced at the end of last month that Bancroft would not be joining as an overseas player following his role in the ball-tampering scandal during Australia’s Test series in South Africa.
Renshaw replaced Bancroft for the final Test at Johannesburg and he has now agreed a deal to start the Specsavers County Championship campaign with Somerset.
The 22-year-old is in contention to face Worcestershire in Somerset’s opener next week and will remain with the county until June 30 before returning on August 19 to see out the season at Taunton.
“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,” said Yorkshire-born Renshaw.
“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.”
The Queensland batsman has played 11 Tests for Australia, averaging 33.47 with a highest score of 184 against Pakistan.
Somerset director of cricket Andy Hurry said: “It has been important for us to act swiftly, but to remain pragmatic in identifying the best fit for our needs and I am delighted that we have signed Matt.
“Coming to us off the back of a title-winning Sheffield Shield season and having made a number of significant contributions with the bat, including three hundreds in the last five games, he will be arriving with us with a huge amount of confidence.
“He is a player who is highly driven to succeed and has demonstrated the ability to bat for long periods of time, but he also has the ability to move through the gears.
“He is a player of quality, is on an upward trajectory and we feel that he will certainly flourish in our environment.”
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Dubai’s Chirag Suri has already proved dreams can come true at the Red Bull Campus Cricket finals after his performances helped catch the eye of IPL’s Gujarat Lions.
The UAE batsman has played in three editions of the Red Bull Campus Cricket – an important stepping stone on his wat to featuring in the globe’s premier Twenty20 tournament last year.
Speaking exclusively to Sport 360 ahead of Thursday’s qualifiers, Suri admits it’s been a dream of his to play in the professional game. “It’s been a real journey,” he said. “I’ve been in the UAE for about 14 years and when I arrived here from India I was already passionate about cricket, and I’ve been able to work my way up to the UAE senior team and also break into the IPL”.
“I’ve been able to do it through hard work, you never know what to expect when you’re looking to become a cricketer, it’s not a normal job, you don’t move up the ranks by being a manager then CEO, it’s something that has to happen naturally. I’ve had some ups and downs but I’ve been lucky enough to have more ups than downs so it’s been good to me so far”.
Suri was just six years old when his father introduced him to the game, which even at a young age, he knew he wanted to make his full-time career. He believes his success was helped immensely by playing in a tournament, which supports amateur cricket at a high level. “Red Bull Campus Cricket is a very good platform for kids because there is very few tournaments which support cricket in the UAE, especially at such a high level. What the tournament does is allow you to get great experience playing abroad as we’ve played in finals in India and Sri Lanka”.
He continued, “A lot of people follow their passion without ever being able to make it a full-time job so I’m very thankful that now I’m playing in the IPL I can say I’m doing it full-time. It’s a very proud feeling for me”.
Representing current champions Heriot Watt University; Suri has been able to adapt his game from an amateur into a professional by working on his decision-making. “As a cricketer you can hit a cut shot, a drive or a six anytime you want, you’ve got to choose the right shot at the right time”, he’s learned. “You have to be confident and back yourself with your decisions; you have to practise hard enough to know that you can do it in a game situation. The more you practise each different shot the easier it’ll become, so when faced with a match situation you’ll just do it naturally in a game without thinking”.
Universities competing in Red Bull Campus Cricket:
American University of Sharjah
Birla institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (BITS PILANI)
Rochester Institute of Technology
Emirates Aviation College
University of Wollongong
Qualifiers: April 12th
Quarter-finals: April 13th
Semi-finals & Finals: April 14th
Location: Eden Gardens Ajman
Surrey have signed South Africa’s fast bowler Morne Morkel on a two-year deal, the club confirmed on Tuesday.
Morkel retired from international cricket after the fourth and final Test at Johannesburg against Australia. In the eventful Cape Town Test though, he claimed his 300th Test victim. He played in 86 Test matches, 117 One-Day Internationals and 44 T20 Internationals for the Proteas.
Surrey’s opening County Championship game of the season is scheduled for April 20, against Hampshire, although a left strain side strain might stop Morkel from taking part in the opener.
Morkel is the latest addition to the list of players who have signed the Kolpak deal with English counties recently. But unlike Hampshire fast bowler Kyle Abbott and Essex all-rounder Simon Harmer, the 33-year old has took the decision during latter stages of his career.
— Surrey Cricket (@surreycricket) April 10, 2018
Morkel should also be a welcome addition to Surrey’s squad after Australia’s Mitchell Starc pulled out due to an ankle surgery and Tom Curran was picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders for the IPL.
Speaking after signing the club contract, Morkel said, “It is a real honour that Surrey have asked me to join their club after my retirement from international cricket,” as quoted on Surrey’s official website.
“I’ve got fond memories of playing at The Kia Oval and am looking forward to settling into London with my family for the summer, making new friendships with teammates and hopefully great memories on and off the field.”