‘Friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime’: 576 and out for Shaun Marsh with 24-year career to finish
Shaun Marsh has called time on his marathon 24-season professional cricket career, telling Melbourne Renegades teammates he will not play on next summer.
Marsh confirmed on Sunday that Wednesday’s clash with the Sydney Thunder will be his last in the BBL, ending a domestic career that began in 2000-01 for Western Australia.
Marsh’s announcement comes in a week of retirements for the Renegades, with the 40-year-old having opened alongside Aaron Finch in Finch’s farewell match on Saturday night.
When Marsh walks off Sydney Showground on Wednesday night, he will have completed his 576th and final game of elite cricket.
Included in that tally of matches is Marsh’s century on Test debut in Sri Lanka in 2011, as well as his famous ton alongside brother Mitch in the 2017-18 Ashes in Sydney.
Having walked away from all other aspects of the game at the end of last summer, the BBL was Marsh’s sole remaining cricket this season.
“I have loved playing for the Renegades, I’ve met some great people over the last five years and the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime,” Marsh said.
“I owe a lot to the Scorchers, I’ve got some fond memories of playing in Perth and really enjoyed my time there.
“The back-to-back titles (with the Scorchers) are up there for me as the most enjoyable moments I’ve experienced on a cricket field.”
After debuting as a middle-order batsman for Western Australia at age 17, Marsh overcame the weight of expectation that came with his surname to became one of the country’s most formidable domestic players.
He was forced to wait 10 years for his Test debut in Sri Lanka, and played 38 Tests in total for Australia while averaging 34.81.
The left-hander also played 73 ODIs and 15 T20Is, with his 50-over returns often underrated given he scored a century one in every 10 innings.
By the time of his retirement from first-class cricket last season, Marsh was Western Australia’s third leading run-scorer behind Justin Langer and Tom Moody.
And though he celebrated his 40th birthday in Bali this year, while brother Mitch was scoring an Ashes century, the veteran’s form has still not fallen away.
After battling a calf injury at the start of the BBL season, Marsh has hit three half-centuries in five innings this season, including an unbeaten 64 from 49 balls in a win over the Melbourne Stars on Saturday.
“If I could have any batter in Australia to help plot and chase down a total, it’d be SOS (Marsh),” Renegades coach David Saker said.
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“He has raw power and he has the experience to wait for the right shot at the right time which is critical in T20 cricket.”