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IPL 2023: Punjab Kings picks an uncapped Australian batter as a replacement for Jonny Bairstow

Hoping for a change in fortunes with a new captain and coach in the form of Shikhar Dhawan and Trevor Bayliss in place for the 2023 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Punjab Kings ( PBKS) have been hit with a major blow as star English batter Jonny Bairstow has been ruled out of the competition. They purchased Bairstow in the 2022 players’ auction for a massive price of INR 6.75 crore.

Bairstow will miss the competition due to a freak injury he suffered while playing golf in September. The explosive wicket-keeper batter has also missed the 2022 T20 World Cup and England’s tour of Pakistan and New Zealand because of the issue which had forced him to undergo a surgery.

PBKS have confirmed Bairstow’s replacement and announced uncapped Australian batter Matthew Short will join the squad for the upcoming season. Short had won the ‘Player of the Tournament (POTM)’ award in the 2023 Big Bash League (BBL) while playing for eventual champions Perth Scorchers.

In the recently concluded season of Australia’s domestic T20 league, Short finished as the second-highest run-getter in the tournament with a total of 458 runs in 14 games at an average of 35.23 and a strike-rate of 144.48 with two half-centuries and one century to his name.

Punjab have made changes to their team management as skipper Mayank Agarwal was released by the franchise ahead of the auction, where he was purchased by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).

The Mohali-based franchise have not reached the playoffs since their dream run in 2014 when they reached the final. They have never won the title in the tournament’s history but reached the playoffs twice.

PBKS have not qualified for the knockout stage since 2014.

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