From Dinton Cricket Club in Aylesbury to the Australian Test team in the space of two years, it’s been quite the rise for Matt Renshaw.
Renshaw, a 20-year-old, English-born opening batsman, was a surprise selection for Australia’s final Test of their three-match series against South Africa, which started last Thursday.
Two-nil down in the series and on a run of five successive defeats, Australia opted to make wholesale changes for the final match and one of those to benefit was Renshaw who, after scoring 10 in the first innings, guided his side to victory second time around with an unbeaten 34.
The clam and impressive manner of his innings won him the plaudits of many pundits and onlookers and he now looks set for an extended run in the national team.
Renshaw was initially selected due to his outstanding form for domestic side Queensland, which included becoming the youngest man ever to score a Sheffield Shield century for the club when he displayed his patience by compiling 170 from 395 balls on a tricky wicket.
The 2015-16 campaign proved to be a breakthrough season for the Middlesbrough-born opener, who was Queensland’s leading Shield run scorer with 738 at an average of 43.41.
Prior to that, he spent a year at Dinton in 2014 as the club’s overseas player when he scored 432 runs in 10 innings at an average of 61.7, including two centuries and a best score of 131.
Since then, one thing has led to another and he now founds himself at the pinnacle of his sport.
“It’s been amazing. I’m just trying to embrace it all, and have a lot of fun,” Renshaw told ABC after his debut.
“It’s a bit of a challenge, but it’s just another challenge and we’ve got to try to embrace that. The more you embrace it, I think the better you come off.
“I’ve been standing at first slip next to Steve Smith, and watching how his brain ticks. Even that is a great thing from the week.
“You’ve got to take everything that comes in your stride when you’re playing at this level and enjoy it.”