Australia news October 29, 2012

North quits as Western Australia's captain

ESPNcricinfo staff

Marcus North has stood down as captain of Western Australia and the Perth Scorchers, citing his own struggle for form as a key reason for his decision. The move also comes after questions have been raised over the culture in Western Australian cricket following a lack of discipline in South Africa this month, where a number of Perth Scorchers players found themselves in trouble after a big night out on the town in the lead-up to a must-win Champions League Twenty20 match.

The Test batsman Michael Hussey will lead the Warriors in their Sheffield Shield match against Victoria at the MCG, starting on Thursday, while a decision is made on who will become the state's full-time captain. Reports have also emerged from Perth that the former Test batsman Shaun Marsh will be sent back to club cricket to regain his lost form, although that has not been confirmed by Western Australia.

North, 33, has been in charge of Western Australia for six years, during which time they have failed to win a title in any format, and he said the time was right to give up the job. He is keen to play on as a batsman but he will need to find some runs quickly, after scoring 12, 11, 0 and 0 in the first two Sheffield Shield matches of the season, and his last Shield hundred came in October last year.

"I have thought long and hard about this decision but I feel now is the right time for Western Australian cricket to have a fresh voice and a new leader to take the Warriors and Scorchers forward," North said. "My form in the past two and a half years since playing Test cricket has not been to the high standard I place on myself.

"I want to enjoy my cricket without the pressure of captaincy and strive to be the best cricketer that I can be both personally and for the team. I have always said that a captain should be the player who is picked first and someone who has no concern about their place in the side.

"I have been averaging 10 below my career first-class average for the past two seasons and the Warriors do not need a skipper who is struggling for form and finding it hard to justify their place in the side. In the T20 space, there have been times where I have felt the balance of the Scorchers has been compromised by my position in the team and some very good players have had to miss out, such as Paul Collingwood at Champions League.

"This is my sixth year as state captain and I have given it a really good shot, but the reality is we have played in only two T20 finals in that time so I have not enjoyed the success everyone associated with WA cricket would have hoped for."

Western Australia are yet to win a Shield match this season and sit on the bottom of the table. The last time they won a domestic title was in the 2003-04 one-day competition and their last Shield triumph came in 1998-99.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on November 1, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    The change has done him good! 70 odd not out & still counting!

  • Andrew on October 30, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    @ ILogic on (October 29 2012, 14:00 PM GMT) - I was joking when I said to send an SOS to him! @BG4cricket on (October 29 2012, 21:40 PM GMT) - NC-N for captain? That's an interesting choice, trying to remember the last Shield pacer who a captain - Lawson?

  • Brett on October 29, 2012, 21:40 GMT

    Like most I think North has made the right call. John - you can't be serious about Mitchell Marsh being the captain are you as captains need to set and enforce standards which is the problem with their team at present with him as one of the primary offenders. With regards to the captain moving forward I think it has to be someone who commands a spit in all formats and who has a bit of ticker. I am not sure if Voges is the guy to build around personally as his numbers and form are not that great. For mine I think it should be either Liam Davis or Nathan Couter-Nile

  • Garry on October 29, 2012, 20:01 GMT

    Really feel for North, always enjoyed watching him bat, like many other WA bats. He's a smart cricketer and hope he can regain some form over the lead in to xmas as WA really need it. I think he'll feel a weight lifted from his shoulders as it would chip away that the team hasn't had much success for a while and that's been with 3 different coaches all of good quality. I'm really shattered about Shaun Marsh's form slump which is all about confidence as he has the skills. Not to make excuses but he got burned a bit by the NSP by rushing him back from injury before the Indian series and then pretty much cast him aside. Couldn't believe that they wouldn't include him in any camps over the winter or even be considered for the T20 WC with his experience in that format and in those conditions. I'd still consider him for the Indian tour but it'll take an amazing turn around, I'll back him though. Hope he plays county cricket next winter. Mitch will be playing in Australian colours this summer

  • ILogic on October 29, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    All the people suggesting Katich do know he doesn't play for WA don't they??

  • Dummy4 on October 29, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    WA should appoint mitch marsh as the new captain because he has great leadership capability as he has shown with u 19 wc success. he will improve as a player with responsibility and his behaviour will improve too. i think north and s.marsh should be dropped from the state side as their form has been terrible for a long time now. william bosisto, sam whiteman and tom beaton are the ideal replacement for them.

  • Lou on October 29, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    I think the last skipper that WA need is a 'nice guy' so it's good that North has finally thrown in the towel. He should have done it at the end of last year. Problem is that Voges never appears to be the most motivated of characters but with a bit of help, he'll do for this season anyway. I hope Shaun Marsh stays in grade cricket till he works out if he really wants what is on offer. I doubt somehow that he does. And with any luck, Mitch Marsh will come to his senses and move to another state. I've been saying this about him for about 2 years. He'll go nowhere with WA and living in Perth, it's all too easy for him there.

  • Richard on October 29, 2012, 9:26 GMT

    I've always liked Marcus North and It's unfortunate things have turned out this way. Professional sport is a tough business.

  • django on October 29, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    Well its probably time for a change. I enjoyed watching him play for Aus when he was in form but he was a fragile talent.

  • Andrew on October 29, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    @ jonesy2 on (October 29 2012, 04:30 AM GMT) - I think there would be a shock - but not the one you're thinking of!!!! @CricketPervert on (October 29 2012, 06:37 AM GMT) - mate love the name! It is ridiculously funny!

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