"I wasn't going to cry, but I did."
With these words, Alison Renshaw described the joy she felt at hearing the news that her son Matt had been picked to open the batting for Australia in the third Test in Adelaide this week.
Don't know anything about Matt Renshaw? Here's a quick cheat sheet.
- He's 20, which makes him the second youngest batsman to debut for Australia in the last three decades of cricket. Only the late Phillip Hughes was younger, at 19, when he debuted back in 2009;
- He was born in Yorkshire to British parents. The family left England when Matt was 7, stayed for a couple of years in New Zealand, and moved here was Renshaw was 10 -- which for him, was half a lifetime ago;
- He's as Aussie as Andrew Symonds, said his parents this week. He sure sounds Aussie. Not a trace of the English accents his parents have;
- He cemented his spot in the team with innings of 108 and 50 in Queensland's Sheffield Shield win over South Australia on the weekend. That took his tally of first class cricket runs (first class cricket is the level below Tests, not including One-Dayers or T20s) beyond 1,000.
- That's right, Matt Renshaw has scored just 1,000 runs at state level. In the old days, players scored 1,000 runs each season for years before selectors thought about them for Australian duty. But times have changed. Cupboards are bare;
- For the record, he averages 44.39, which is not stellar, but it'll do. It puts him in the range of Mark Waugh, David Boon, Mark Taylor and Michael Slater.
- Last summer, aged 19, Renshaw was the youngest man ever to score a Sheffield Shield century for Queensland. On a tough pitch in Mackay, he amassed 170 from 395 balls. Selectors are clearly looking for a guy who can dig in;
- He's being compared to Matt Hayden, naturally, because he's a tall Queensland opening batsman who bats left-handed. No word yet on how he goes with a pair of BBQ tongs in hand;
- "Opening the batting for Australia? It sounds pretty good, yeah." So said Renshaw at a press conference this week. He has confidence but not arrogance. Delicate balance. Likeable guy;
- At the time of writing, he had barely 500 Twitter followers. Get on board, Australia;
- "He's incredible, he's so sweet. He takes really good care of me." So said his girlfriend Josie. We'll take her word for it;