Saturday, February 4, 2023

Brisbane Heat: Runs and Bubs – Highlights Await Renshaw

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Matt Renshaw returns to the Brisbane Heat but even if he blasts a match winning 50-ball century, it still won’t be the highlight of his summer.

That is expected to come in mid-December when Renshaw, who was a naive youngster when he made his Test debut as a 20-year-old in 2016, becomes a father for the first time.

It will be a life-changing moment for the English-born Queenslander who is a much more mature version of the cricketer who waltzed onto the international stage six years ago.

After several seasons playing with the Adelaide Strikers, Renshaw will wear the teal again after returning home for the birth of his new baby, with wife Josie expecting soon.

“My world is going to change a lot, I always wanted to be a Dad,” Renshaw, 26, says.

“Josie and I haven’t found out the sex of the baby.

“We figured there are a lot of surprises in life and a lot of them can be negative, so we might try to have a positive surprise.

“I was very honest with the Strikers when Josie got pregnant, it makes it a lot easier for us being in Brisbane when we have the baby so I can spend more time with family.”

Renshaw has played 49 BBL games, scoring over 1000 runs between the Heat (549) and the Strikers (513).

The tall left-hander and occasional Big Bash spinner has had a rollercoaster cricket career with some exhilarating highs mixed with some lows.

Renshaw was a left-field choice to burst into the Test arena after only a handful of Sheffield Shield Games.

Renshaw played the last of his 11 Tests in 2018 and since then even took a break from cricket at one point when he felt the game was getting on top of him.

“My Test debut was six years ago and I can barely remember it, it all happened so quickly and I don’t think I took it all in,” Renshaw reflects.

“Only being 20 and only having played a few games of Shield cricket, I didn’t really understand how important playing Test cricket was.

“I came in and was blue eyed and bushy tailed and I didn’t really know what was going on.

“In more recent times, I took a break from cricket just before Covid hit.

“I had to rethink why I was playing cricket, at that time it was all about trying to play for Australia, but I wasn’t enjoying my cricket.

“I wasn’t the best person that I have ever been at those times, just getting frustrated with little things.

“It was important for me to step back, rejigging my technique and my thoughts.

Renshaw is looking for consistency with the bat and a defined role in the batting order in his second coming as a Brisbane Heat cricketer.

After batting in every position in the top six when he was with the Strikers, he sees his role with the Heat as primarily to steady up the middle order.

He has a big asset in the shape of Heat captain Usman Khawaja.

After not clicking when Renshaw first came into the fold, Renshaw now sees Khawaja as his life coach and mentor.

“At the start Ussie didn’t like me at all, so we have definitely come a long way,” Renshaw chuckles.

“I was young and came in and I just wanted to be Uzzy’s friend and I probably tried too hard.

“But once I got to know him a bit better, we really clicked.

“I joke around that he is my life coach, he says he has never accepted that role but it’s just a role you get given.

“He’s really switched on and has had so many ups and downs to learn from.

“Seeing him come back into the Australian team and scoring hundreds was quite inspirational.”

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