SYDNEY (Reuters) - Dumped test batsman Nic Maddinson is poised to return to first-class cricket after being named in the New South Wales squad for a Sheffield Shield clash against Tasmania.
Maddinson asked not to be considered earlier this month due to ‘personal reasons’ after being dropped by Australia.
However, New South Wales coach Trent Johnston said on Thursday he had spoken to Maddinson about a possible comeback.
“I spoke to ‘Maddo’ in the middle of last week ... and he was in a good place,” Johnston said in a statement ahead of their four-day match in Wollongong starting on Saturday.
”I‘m happy that he’s back in the right frame of mind to be playing first-class cricket, he’s an outstanding talent and we’ve seen that time and time again.
“He’s come back into the Shield squad and from there it will depend on how we set the team up and whether we stick with six batters or go with the extra batter and go in a quick light.”
The 25-year-old’s decision to take a break from the game after being dropped created debate in Australia over how young players were being treated by the sport’s governing body.
Former test opener Ed Cowan, a New South Wales team mate of Maddinson, said the national side “churned and burned” through young players and needed to do more to look after their mental health.
Maddinson was one of a trio of young batsmen to debut for Australia over the home summer after selectors shook up the underperforming side during the South Africa test series.
While Queensland opener Matt Renshaw and Victoria top order batsman Peter Handscomb thrived at the top level, Maddinson struggled and was dropped after the Boxing Day test against Pakistan, having scored only 27 runs from his three matches.
Renshaw and Handscomb are currently playing the first test against India in Pune.
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Peter Rutherford