In-form Queensland allrounder and fringe Australia Test seamer Michael Neser has withdrawn from Queensland’s Sheffield Shield clash with Tasmania after day one due to personal reasons, leaving the visitors with just 10 players for the remaining three days of the match in Hobart.
Neser was 51 not out overnight batting at No.5 for the first time in his first-class career, continuing his red-hot form. He did not resume his innings on the morning of day two at Bellerive Oval and was retired out.
Queensland Cricket released a statement saying Neser had flown home to Brisbane on Thursday night for personal reasons and would not take any further part in the match.
“Queensland Cricket has confirmed that Michael Neser has withdrawn from the Marsh Sheffield Shield game in Hobart and returned to Brisbane for personal reasons,” the statement said. “Under match conditions, he will not be replaced in the match. QC will update his availability for coming matches in due course and requests that Michael’s privacy be respected during this time.”
It is understood Neser was elevated to No.5 on day one because it was already known he would be leaving the match. There are limited flights from Hobart to Brisbane which meant he could not leave any earlier. He was given a license to play aggressively and clubbed five fours and a six in his 71-ball innings. There were periods when Tasmania had nearly every fielder on the fence for him while they maintained a conventional ring field for Joe Burns who had made a century at the other end.
Under Cricket Australia’s Sheffield Shield playing conditions, players can only be replaced in a match for concussion or international call-ups.
Queensland are already without captain Usman Khawaja who is resting for the second straight Shield match as part of his workload management ahead of the upcoming Test summer which features seven Tests against Pakistan, West Indies and New Zealand in the space of three months.
Neser’s withdrawal comes in the midst of a career purple patch with the bat. In his last 10 first-class innings, playing for Glamorgan in the County Championship and Queensland in the Shield dating back to April this year, Neser has scored 785 runs at 87.22 including scores of 90, 86, 123, 176*, 140, 90, and 51. He had also taken 23 wickets at 26.08 in those eight matches including a seven-wicket haul.
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