Punjab Kings (PBKS) have suffered a massive setback as star batter Jonny Bairstow will miss the 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2023). He has been replaced in the PBKS squad by Australian cricketer Matthew Short.
The 27-year-old Short was adjudged the Player of the Tournament in the recently-concluded edition of the Big Bash League (BBL). Representing Adelaide Strikers, the top-order batter finished as the second-highest run-getter in the BBL 2022-23 as he accumulated 458 runs in 14 matches at an average of 35.91 and a strike rate of 144.47.
Apart from his batting credentials, Short is also a handy right-arm off-spinner. The Victoria-born cricketer has picked up 22 T20 wickets at an economy of 7.31.
Meanwhile, Bairstow continues to recover from his freak leg injury which he sustained while playing golf in September last year. Bairstow underwent successful surgery on his left leg after sustaining multiple fractures, a dislocated ankle and ligament damage. As part of the surgery, a metal plate was inserted to repair the damage.
The unfortunate injury forced Bairstow to miss England’s ICC T20 World Cup victory in Australia and also Test tours to Pakistan and New Zealand.
Bairstow will continue his rehabilitation at Yorkshire as he looks to make a comeback to the England team ahead of the first Ashes Test against Australia at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground, starting on June 16.
Punjab Kings had earlier acquired the services of Bairstow for Rs 6.75 crore at the IPL 2022 mega auction. Last season, the England swashbuckling batter scored 253 runs in 11 matches for PBKS at an impressive strike rate of 144.57, including two fifties.
Overall in his short IPL career, Bairstow has amassed 1,291 runs in 39 matches at an average of 35.86 and a strike rate of 142.65. He has hit one century and nine fifties so far.