Matthew Short turned himself into an all-format asset


Matthew Short turned himself into an all-format asset

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The versatile player has already experienced international cricket, and given his current performance, further opportunities may be on the horizon.

Moving to a new residence can often be quite a hassle, but for Matthew Short, it turned out to be one of the most pivotal decisions of his life.

Presently, Matthew Short stands as one of the most outstanding batters in Australian domestic cricket. Having recently marked his debut in both T20I and ODI international formats, and coming tantalizingly close to securing a spot in Australia’s World Cup squad, Short openly admits that only a short 18 months ago, he was teetering on the edge of a cricketing precipice.

In the winter of 2022, Short had spent eight years as a professional cricketer with Victoria. At the age of 26, he had played 62 first-class innings, yet remarkably, had only notched a single century. This solitary feat was achieved against England during a tour match for a Cricket Australia XI in 2017, played on the fourth day of a lukewarm draw that witnessed just 24 wickets fall, all in preparation for an Ashes series in Townsville.

Up to that point, Short had failed to secure any Sheffield Shield centuries and maintained an average of just 30.38 across 55 innings. In List A cricket, he had zero centuries from 46 innings, and the same held true for T20 cricket, with just five fifties from 50 innings.

Fast forward to 2023, and Short has managed to accumulate six centuries across all cricket formats. These include one in the Big Bash League (BBL), two in the Marsh Cup, and three in Sheffield Shield cricket. His remarkable journey led to him being named the BBL Player of the Tournament, and he even ventured into leagues such as the IPL and The Hundred, in addition to representing Australia in white-ball cricket. All this success followed his move closer to Victoria’s training facility at the Junction Oval in Melbourne.

Short reflected on his transformation, stating, “I suppose probably 12-18 months ago, I was a little bit nowhere in terms of not putting as much effort into training. So I moved in closer to training and made a few sacrifices over the last few months. Really putting some emphasis on training and doing the extra stuff.”

Indeed, Short’s journey has been quite remarkable, and it’s astounding that it took him until the age of 28, considering his background as a talented Australia Under-19 cricketer, youth World Cup participant, selection in Cricket Australia development teams, and consistent representation for Victoria, to experience this breakthrough.

Characterized by his height, powerful ball-striking ability, impeccable hand-eye coordination, exceptional fielding skills, and proficiency as an off-spin bowler, Short epitomizes the prototype for the modern cricketing era. It’s evident why so much faith was placed in him during his younger days, without the added pressure of having to prove himself at every turn.

Short’s Remarkable Transformation Since September 1, 2022

FormatRunsAverageStrike RateCenturies
List A52052.00111.112

Matthew Short’s performance statistics since September 1, 2022, illustrate his incredible journey and newfound heights in different cricket formats.

Natural talent, while a valuable asset, can only take an individual so far. Chris Rogers, Matthew Short’s coach in Victoria, has consistently emphasized the importance of the gradual climb, rather than a swift ascent, for his promising young players in Australian cricket. Short has diligently followed this philosophy by dedicating countless hours to training and refining his decision-making and mental skills on the field. This transformation has been made possible through the unwavering support of both Rogers and his coach at Adelaide Strikers, Jason Gillespie.

Short shared his insights, saying, ‘I’ve focused on rigorous training routines and fine-tuning my game plan. Additionally, I’ve invested time in recovery and strength conditioning to ensure my body remains in peak condition, given the demanding schedule I’ve had over the past year.’

He also emphasized the significance of mental fortitude, praising the freedom granted by both Victoria and Strikers, allowing him to showcase his aggressive, natural batting style. This approach has yielded positive results and allowed him to take more risks.

Furthermore, Short’s role has evolved from being an inconsistent team member to becoming a senior player who carries a significant burden in both Victoria and Strikers. At Strikers, his ability to score runs at the top of the order was crucial when key players like Alex Carey and Travis Head were absent, and he was even entrusted with bowling powerplay overs.

For Victoria, the absence of Marcus Harris and Peter Handscomb due to Test duties, along with Nic Maddinson’s injury, meant increased responsibility for Short. He excelled under this pressure. Additionally, he faced new challenges as an overseas player, representing Punjab Kings in the IPL and the Northern Superchargers in the Hundred while opening the batting.

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Returning to Victoria’s colors last week after his stint with the Australian national team, during which he impressed with a dazzling 66 off 30 balls in just his second T20I against South Africa, Matthew Short found himself in a pivotal role. His state team was struggling early in the season, but Short stepped up with back-to-back centuries in Mackay against Queensland.

Short, reflecting on his experience as an international player, recognized the added pressure that comes with being relied upon for crucial contributions. He commented, “I think that’s been good to bring back to Victoria. It’s nice to be able to think of myself as someone that the team relies on to score runs and help set up some victories.”

Not only has Short shone with the bat, but his bowling has also flourished under the guidance of Victoria’s spin coach, Craig Howard. With his newfound versatility, Short is emerging as a triple-threat player in all formats.

As Australia’s white-ball teams undergo a transition phase, Short acknowledges that his recent strong performances have come at an opportune time. Looking ahead, he envisions himself as an asset on subcontinental Test tours, such as those in Sri Lanka in early 2025 and India in early 2027, thanks to his diverse skillset.

Short remains humble about his future prospects, saying, “I’m not really thinking about it too much, whether it’s white-ball or red-ball, but if I can keep performing and trying to win games for Victoria then who knows what’ll happen.”

His immediate focus is on the upcoming match against New South Wales and a returning Nathan Lyon at the MCG, as Victoria aims to recover after suffering consecutive innings defeats in the Sheffield Shield to start the year. The return of Will Pucovski is anticipated, and Short is eager to play alongside him, expressing, “I’m looking forward to playing with him.


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