Budding left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann's impressive County Championship stint gets derailed due to back injury
Matthew Kuhnemann has bagged 12 wickets including a fifer for Durham in the ongoing division two of the County Championship.
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Several Australian players have considered taking part in this year's County stints in a bid to prepare for The Ashes to be held in June in England. While some players are already playing matches for their respective counties and some are yet to begin their stint ahead of the intense battle against the English side. However, in the race to make it to the Australia squad, some players have failed to make the cut to feature in the side.
One such player is Matthew Kuhnemann, who had a stellar start to his Test career during Australia's tour to India which happened in February 2023. Kuhnemann played three Tests and bagged an impressive nine wickets including a 5-wicket haul. Speaking of his maiden First Class stint abroad, the left-arm spinner began well for his Durham county, albeit, his stint has now got derailed after sustaining a back injury.
Notably, Kuhnemann played a major role by bagging a 5-wicket haul in a thrilling win over Worcestershire on the final day of the County Championship match held earlier this month. The Aussie has so far scalped 12 wickets with an average of 22.58 while playing in the Division 2 of the English county. Unfortunately, the 26-year-old, suffered a back injury while playing against Glamorgan. He managed to bowl only four overs in the match.
In the latest development, Matthew Kuhnemann is expected to miss three four-day matches for Durham and will be out of action for at least four weeks. Meanwhile, Durham have included the England Test leg-spinner Matt Parkinson as a replacement for their clash with Derbyshire. The English leggie has been transferred on a Loan basis from Lancashire County. Interestingly enough, Parkinson played only one match for the former in the ongoing season.
Matthew Kuhnemann's rise and stints of other Australian players in the ongoing County Championship
It is worth mentioning that Kuhnemann had received a shocking call-up to the national side for the much-talked tour to India. Before the call-up, he began his domestic season with Queensland as a second spinner Mitchell Swepson. Later on, during the Test series in India, Matthew Kuhnemann produced one of the most memorable bowling spells by a foreign spinner by picking a fifer (5/16) in Indore that resulted in Australia beating India on a rank turner in a rare case.
Meanwhile, another talented spinner who troubled the Indian batters was Todd Murphy. For his good showing, Murphy has been roped in as Nathan Lyon's replacement in the future. Initially, Murphy was supposed to play for Durham in the initial phases of the County Championship, but later on, pulled out of it, while Kuhnemann missed out on making it to Australia's Ashes and the WTC final squad, respectively.
Now speaking of other Australian players who are currently on their county stints, Michael Neser and Marnus Labuschagne will be featuring for Leicestershire County where Peter Handscomb will be leading the side. Both of them have a point to prove after their omissions from the Test squad.
"I was really disappointed at the start but I had a very good conversation with (selection chief) George Bailey and he was pretty clear about where I stand," Neser was quoted as saying by the News Corp.
Alongside them, Australia's Sean Abbott's campaign will not play against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, which will host the Ashes opener as confirmed by his team, Surrey County. Moreover, the County released a statement on their website, saying that based on a mutual agreement with his domestic team New South Wales and Cricket Australia, Abbott has been rested for the said game as per the terms of the contract. Meanwhile, the player who is being tipped as the potential long-term successor of the current Australian Test openers, Marcus Harris, who recently got a recall to the Australia Test squad will feature for Gloucestershire against Sussex in Bristol.