Cameron Bancroft out of Sheffield Shield cricket final in big blow for Western Australia

Bancroft's will miss WA's chance at winning a third straight title in the domestic competition.

An unfortunate mishap has ruled gun Western Australia batter Cameron Bancroft out of his side's Sheffield Shield final against Tasmania, starting at the WACA on Thursday. Bancroft suffered a concussion after falling off his bike and will take no part in the final as WA look to win a third straight domestic red-ball cricket title.

Bancroft's omission is set to be a huge blow for the home side, with the 31-year-old Test hopeful WA's leading run-scorer in the Shield this season. Bancroft has belted 778 runs at an average of 48.62 and finished second in the overall run standings to Tasmanian Beau Webster.

Pictured here, WA Sheffield Shield cricket star Cameron Bancroft.
Cameron Bancroft has been ruled out of the Sheffield Shield final for Western Australia. Pic: Getty

The opener has been the leading run-scorer over the previous two seasons and loomed as arguably the biggest danger man to the Tasmania side. A WA Cricket spokesperson confirmed Bancroft suffered the injury after coming off his bike on Sunday, with the concussion set to cause a re-jig at the top of the order for the defending champs.

Bancroft and WA captain Sam Whiteman have become the state's most prolific first-wicket pair after striking up a superb partnership this season, with Bancroft's absence likely to see D'Arcy Short or Teague Wyllie promoted to opener. Jayden Goodwin looks to be another option that could be promoted from within WA's XI that could do a job at the top of the order.

The loss of Bancroft comes as WA looks to claim three successive Sheffield Shield titles for the first time since the 1988/89 season when they won their third straight. It's also a blow to Bancroft's hopes of further pressing his claims for a Test recall after being overlooked as David Warner's replacement for Australia, with Steve Smith ultimately promoted to opener but struggling to cement his spot there.

Bancroft - banned for nine months for his part in the infamous ball-tampering scandal - has made no secret of his desire to play Test cricket again for Australia and said earlier in the session that he hoped his weight of runs in the Shield convinced Aussie selectors that he was ready. "It's something I really want. I feel like I'm physically, mentally and emotionally ready to take that opportunity," Bancroft said.

"The past has been a great ground for me to learn things about myself, and I feel like I owe it to my country to put those lessons into play. We all make mistakes in the world, and I've definitely done that in my playing career. It's pretty obvious that's the case for me."

Tasmania out to send retiring Matthew Wade out a winner

WA's opponents for the Shield final have been given added incentive in the match, with Tasmania veteran Matthew Wade announcing this week that he was retiring from red-ball cricket. A mainstay in Australia's white-ball teams over the years, Wade will still compete in the shortest forms of the game but the Shield final will mark his red-ball swan song for Tasmania.

Wade has two years left on his contract with BBL side the Hobart Hurricanes and is likely to be part of Australia's squad for the T20 World Cup in June. He played 36 Tests for Australia, making four hundreds and 1613 runs and has has 9183 runs at an average of 40.81 in first-class cricket, as well as 442 catches and 21 stumpings.

Seen here, Aussie cricket star Matthew Wade.
Matthew Wade announced this week he is retiring from red-ball cricket. Image: Getty

The left-handed batter posted a match-winning knock in the T20 World Cup semi-final in 2021 amid Australia's run to the trophy and has won four Shield titles with Victoria - including two as captain. However he hasn't tasted success with Tasmania and will be desperate to go out on a high in the Shield final against his old state.

Tasmania will also be buoyed by the news Webster was announced as the Sheffield Shield's player of the season this week. Webster edged out NSW batter Ollie Davies and Western Australia quick Joel Paris to claim the award voted on by umpires across the course of the season.

The 30-year-old scored three centuries, including an unbeaten 167 against Victoria earlier this month to comfortably top the Shield run-scoring charts. Webster's 914 runs at 65.28 saw him finish more than 100 in front of Bancroft on the overall standings and he's also been Tasmania's second-highest wicket taker with 26 at an average of 28.46.

with AAP

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