IPL 2023: Punjab Kings announce uncapped Australian Matthew Short as Jonny Bairstow’s replacement
IPL franchise Punjab Kings have announced that star England batsman Jonny Bairstow has been ruled out of the upcoming season due to a freak injury he sustained while playing golf with his friends in Yorkshire last year. They replaced the England international batsman with uncapped Australian batsman Matthew Short, who made waves in BBL this year for scoring 458 runs (second highest) at an average of 35.23 and a strike rate of 144.47.
Punjab via BCCI awaited the latest fitness status of Bairstow from the ECB after the right-handed batsman resumed in late February. According to the latest reports, Jonny has returned to the nets this past week and is likely to feature in division two of the County Championship which usually starts in May. Keeping this in mind, PBKS announced his replacement in this video posted on their social media handle.
🚨 IMPORTANT UPDATE 🚨
It is sad to inform you that Jonny Bairstow will not be a part of the IPL this season due to his injury. We wish him the best and look forward to seeing him next season.
We are pleased to welcome Matthew Short as his replacement.
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) March 25, 2023 ×
Meanwhile, on September 2 last year, Bairstow broke his left leg and dislocated his ankle while playing golf with his friends. He slipped and suffered multiple fractures in his fibula, which required surgery in which a plate was also inserted. After that Bairstow was sidelined indefinitely and missed all the cricket action – including the T20 World Cup in Australia which England won, the historic away Test series in Pakistan and the New Zealand tour that followed.
Bairstow, an IPL winner with the SunRisers Hyderabad in 2016, had a flat 2022 season with Punjab – where he managed just 253 runs in 11 matches, averaging 23.00 at a strike rate of 144.57, including two fifties.
On the other hand, Matthew Short has received attention from the cricketing world after his breakthrough BBL season, where he played for the Adelaide Strikers at the top of the order. His best innings in BBL 2022/23 came during a thrilling chase against Hobart Hurricanes, where he scored an unbeaten century and helped Adelaide chase down a mammoth total of 230 with seven wickets in hand.
Moreover, he is a handy off-spinner who took 11 wickets during the tournament.
He is currently playing for Victoria against Western Australia in the Shield final, where he scored 36 and 3 over both innings respectively.
As Punjab begin their IPL 2023 campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders, it remains to be seen when Short will make his IPL debut.