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North quits as Western Australia's captain

ESPNcricinfo staff

October 29, 2012

Comments: 28 | Text size: A | A

Marcus North was dismissed by Stuart Broad for 19 off 73 balls, Western Australia v England XI, 1st day, Perth, November 5, 2010
Marcus North's disappointing form has been a factor in his decision to quit the state captaincy © Getty Images

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.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Meety on (November 1, 2012, 6:41 GMT)

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

Posted by Meety 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?

Posted by BG4cricket 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

Posted by katandthat3 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

Posted by ILogic on (October 29, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

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

Posted by   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.

Posted by Winsome 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.

Posted by Biggus 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.

Posted by dsig3 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.

Posted by Meety 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!

Posted by Reverend-Cavalier on (October 29, 2012, 7:40 GMT)

Very average and very lucky cricketer

Posted by Fareen on (October 29, 2012, 7:14 GMT)

And though Katich is the best available option to be skipper, I think Voges should get it.

Posted by Fareen on (October 29, 2012, 7:13 GMT)

North has been struggling for a long time now. I remember the last Ashes when he was under scrutiny for continuous below-par performances. But his statements show how humble a person he's and i can only hope he regains his form and do well for Western Australia.

Posted by   on (October 29, 2012, 6:57 GMT)

West Australia should be the future of cricket Nile, Marsh and Davis but they are just failing miserably

Posted by CricketPervert on (October 29, 2012, 6:37 GMT)

With what went on in the Champions League, hard not to think the two are correlated. The problem for WA is Voges is really only a short term prospect (3 seasons), Davis is the only other regular player with class. Shaun Marsh should never have played test cricket for Australia and one senses his first class days are numbered unless he screws his head on properly. Tough times ahead for WA.

Posted by   on (October 29, 2012, 5:48 GMT)

One of the very most disappointing players I have seen play at either national or state level. Massive potential, seems simply to be lazy and unmotivated more than anything else. Supremely frustrating to watch and I wouldnt have him in my team, not ever. Good move on his behalf.

Posted by Meety on (October 29, 2012, 5:35 GMT)

@bobagorof on (October 29 2012, 03:52 AM GMT) - anybody else who had S Marsh's credentials (minus reputation), would of been an automatic replacement. Voges is a getting a little long in the tooth for the job, but is probably the best credentialled. Birt's about the right age, but he hasn't even debuted yet for WA, so I think Beer is a genuine chance - even though he only has 25 FC matches.

Posted by   on (October 29, 2012, 5:28 GMT)

completely agree with North...the trouble wit WA has been their inconsistency...Marsh should be dropped for a year, he has hardly played an innings of significance since being dropped...WA should look for a complete overhaul just like the national team..Katich would be a good replacement till a young captain is ready and he should be given complete freedom to run it

Posted by kensohatter on (October 29, 2012, 5:27 GMT)

Huge fan of Marcus North and believe he was a better player than his test record suggests. This is the right move in the best interests of WA cricket. Voges is the man for the job - fresh start. He will still have North to guide him and hopefully it allows Marcus to find some form to hang around in state cricket a while longer.

Posted by   on (October 29, 2012, 4:59 GMT)

Id say Voges could take over but he's been in shocking form of late, couldnt even get into double figures when he was playing for notts this winter and hasnt started the shield season well either. A good bet could be Liam Davis

Posted by zenboomerang on (October 29, 2012, 4:58 GMT)

Good to see Marcus calling his time as captain, as he said himself his last 2 years have been average at best... Maybe less pressure will help & the poor behaviour of some of his team mates probably pushed this upon him (if the selectors did tap his shoulder?)... Well WA have a number of captain candidates & wouldn't be surprised to see Davis named though there are a number of options available...

Posted by   on (October 29, 2012, 4:40 GMT)

i think mitch marsh should be the captain of western australia. i think giving him responsiblity will make him mature as a player and also his behaviour will be improved. dont forget he also led the u 19 cricket team to world cup glory 2 years ago.

Posted by jonesy2 on (October 29, 2012, 4:30 GMT)

im gutted. for WA cricket and for northy. he has been nothing short of a great of warriors cricket. good luck to him. i really hope he has a nice season this season and even has a chance to win something. now the only choice the WACA have now is to make mitchell marsh the captain. this will shock him into pulling his damn socks up and maturing on and off the field, he will realise that this thing is no joke and a serious and prestigious caper and it will fast-track him to the highest level. anyone else see what i mean and agree with that?

Posted by jeauxx on (October 29, 2012, 4:09 GMT)

@Meety. Agree with all your sentiments, very humble of North. I think the obvious answer to the captaincy issues in the long-term is young Will Bosisto, who captained the Aus U19s the World Cup final just recently. He looked to have an excellent temperament and strong leadership, but is still very young. Cameron White has shown us that young captains can still make very good ones, but perhaps for the next year or two it should go to Voges.

Posted by SirBobJones on (October 29, 2012, 4:06 GMT)

Would this be happening if word hadn't slipped out that North had joined them on the booze-up?

Posted by Chris_P on (October 29, 2012, 3:54 GMT)

He has been in struggle street for a long time. He is at an age where his chances are used up. He is up against it, score runs or fall out. Shaun Marsh back to club cricket, has it been 12 months since his test debut with a century? WA cricket is better than this, by far. Having sat through NSW's abysmal efforts last season, I can sympathize with the sandgroper's fans.

Posted by bobagorof on (October 29, 2012, 3:52 GMT)

Agreed, Meety. Shaun Marsh would have possibly been another candidate as he's been around for a while but his current situation raises concerns about his own attitude and the culture he would bring/maintain. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be (m)any strong contenders for the Captaincy, which probably is a result of the off-field problems. Voges may get it by default. Whomever it is, I wish them all the best.

Posted by Meety on (October 29, 2012, 3:35 GMT)

What a brilliant/humble announcement from North. He is sort falling on the sword for his teammates lack of success. His comments about Collingwood were very apt, truthful & humble. Good luck whoever is chosen to be the captain - I wonder if they'll go for Beer? Maybe send an SOS to Katich? The only other real contenders would be Voges & maybe Birt.

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