Adam Voges’ delight as Shaun Marsh commits to Western Australia’s title defences

Shaun Marsh will play on for a 23rd first-class season to help Western Australia and Perth Scorchers coach Adam Voges try and achieve the near-impossible task of defending all three domestic crowns.

Marsh took some time after the Shield final to decide whether he would continue to play for WA next season. He was contracted to WA for one more year and re-signed with Melbourne Renegades in February for the next two seasons.

After the success of the Shield title, there was a thought he would step away from Shield cricket just to play in the BBL.

However, following a week of celebrations after the Shield final Marsh confirmed to Voges that he would continue on next season and looks set to remain as WA’s stand-in Shield captain when his younger brother Mitchell Marsh is unavailable due to Australia duty.

“Really, really pleased that Shaun has decided to go again,” Voges told ESPNcricinfo. “It was actually a very short conversation. We sat down a week after the Shield final and he had had a little bit of time to reflect and contemplate what he wanted to do next, and he was very firm in his views that he wants to continue being a part of this group.

“I think a few of our younger guys keep him young. They love working with him. And I think he really enjoys being able to mentor a few of those younger guys in Jayden Goodwin, Sam Fanning, Cooper Connolly and Teague Wyllie. Certainly, during a pre-season period, he’ll be able to give a lot to those guys.

“And I think that’ll help refresh him and give him the energy to go again. He’s certainly got the energy and drive to keep getting up and getting better each day. And while he continues to have that I’m certainly very happy to keep him in our squad.”

Marsh, 38, played alongside 17-year-old Wyllie in the Shield final, who was born three years after Marsh had made his Shield debut also as a 17-year-old in 2001.

Voges believes Marsh’s experience makes him an invaluable mentor to be able to help guide the young players in the middle when they are batting with him.

I think that the good teams have success, but great teams have sustained success. And that’s our challenge is to perhaps go back-to-back or to have genuine success over a period of time

Adam Voges

“He’s been there and done it all now,” Voges said. “There’s not too many situations in the game that arise that he hasn’t already experienced. And so to be able to be out there and to be able to give those guys feedback and assistance at the time is just invaluable. You speak to any of our players and ask who they enjoy batting with, and everyone talks about batting with Shaun. So it makes a huge difference when you’ve got that experience out there who’s still performing really well and is a really important leader.”

Voges is back on the tools this week helping a group of WA players prepare for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka, as well as another cohort that are heading to England for stints in the Vitality Blast and the Hundred.

He had a month off to reflect on the extraordinary achievement of winning all three Australian domestic titles as a coach last season, becoming just the second to do so in the BBL era behind new Australia head coach Andrew McDonald.

“It’s been nice to have a bit of downtime and be able to sort of reflect,” Voges said. “I don’t think we’ll fully appreciate the achievements for the season for still some time to come. For me personally, it was really rewarding to see all the hard work that the players, staff, and the whole of WA cricket had put into the season and to get the rewards that we did. It made all the tough moments, and there are a few of them throughout the season, it certainly made it all worthwhile.”

The achievement was made even more remarkable by the fact that no player played in the final of all three titles and that Scorchers played every game bar one away from home and had to host both the BBL and Marsh Cup final in Victoria due to Covid-19 rules in WA preventing them from having their earned home finals at Optus Stadium and the WACA.

Voges’ management of the three teams was a credit to the personal development he has done as a coach in recent seasons, with the backing of WA cricket general manager Kade Harvey.

“I think that was probably one of the biggest challenges and just the ability to stay in constant communication with our group and just making sure that everyone at their own individual level, but certainly the group as a whole we’re going okay,” Voges said.

“At times it felt like cricket was secondary with Covid and bubbles and being away for long periods.

“We had a number of close games. I guess my emotional control during those periods is something that I’ve worked really, really hard on and made sure that I can be as calm and as level-headed, even in the most pressured of situations. That’s something that continues to be a work in progress.”

Voges was full of praise for his assistants, Beau Casson and Matt Mason, as well as development coaches Wes Robinson and Geoff Marsh for their work throughout last season. WA and Scorchers have lost Mason to Warwickshire due to family reasons but are close to signing a new bowling coach to take over for the start of pre-season.

The challenge now for Voges is how do WA and Scorchers improve on the perfect season.

“It’s something that I’ve been thinking about on a daily basis from probably a week after the Shield final and it’s something that when we get together at the start of June to begin our pre-season, it’ll be a question for everyone,” Voges said.

“I think that the good teams have success, but great teams have sustained success. And that’s our challenge is to perhaps go back-to-back or to have genuine success over a period of time and it won’t be easy. I guess the one thing that does comfort me is that we’ve got such a talented squad and we’re going to have such competition for spots.”

Western Australia men’s squad Ashton Agar (CA), Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Hilton Cartwright, Cooper Connolly (Rookie), Sam Fanning, Cameron Gannon, Jayden Goodwin (Rookie), Cameron Green (CA), Sam Greer (Rookie), Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis (CA), Bryce Jackson, Matthew Kelly, Hamish Mckenzie (Rookie), Mitchell Marsh (CA), Shaun Marsh, David Moody, Lance Morris, Joel Paris, Josh Philippe, Jhye Richardson, Corey Rocchiccioli, D’Arcy Short, Charlie Stobo, Marcus Stoinis (CA), Ashton Turner, Sam Whiteman, Teague Wyllie.
In Sam Fanning, Bryce Jackson, Sam Greer, Hamish Mckenzie, Teague Wyllie | Out Liam Guthrie (Queensland)

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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