London (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Matt Renshaw will play for English county side Somerset this season, replacing disgraced Australian Test team-mate Cameron Bancroft, the club announced.
Bancroft was banned for nine months by Australia after being caught on camera using sandpaper to scratch the ball during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.
The 25-year-old opening batsman, who has played just eight Tests, has said he will regret the incident “for the rest of my life”.
England-born Renshaw, 22, also replaced Bancroft when his fellow opener was flown home with captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner as a result of the scandal ahead of the fourth and final Test with South Africa last month.
Renshaw, who has played 11 Tests for Australia, averaging 33.47 with a highest score of 184 against Pakistan, said he was looking forward to following in the footsteps of Chris Rogers in playing for Somerset.
Rogers played a leading role as Somerset came within a whisker of winning their first every county championship in 2016.
“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 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.”
Somerset director of cricket Andy Hurry said Renshaw would suit their needs despite having to race to replace Bancroft.
“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,” said Hurry.
“Coming to us off the back of a title-winning Sheffield Shield season (with Queensland) 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 of quality, is on an upward trajectory and we feel that he will certainly flourish in our environment.”