Auckland Aces v Perth Scorchers, CLT20, Centurion October 23, 2012

Off-field issues compromised Perth's preparation - North


Marcus North, Perth Scorchers' captain, confirmed that breaches of team discipline harmed the squad's Champions League campaign but would not name which players were involved.

"All I will say is that there are players that played today and players that didn't play today that let the team down in preparation last week," North said at Scorchers' final appearance in the tournament. "Last week, against Delhi, there are players in our side that didn't reach the standards of preparations that we require from them. It was not the night before the game against Delhi, but our preparations for the Delhi game in Cape Town."

The Scorchers' lost that match by three wickets, after posting a below par 121 for 5 and were knocked out of the tournament because of that. They also lost the opening game against Titans in Centurion and had one washout but came back to earn a consolation win in their final game.

Knowing that the result would have no bearing on their chances, the Scorchers made three changes to their starting XI. Their leaving out of both Marsh brothers, Shaun and Mitchell, and Nathan Rimmington led to speculation that those were the players who had breached team protocol, especially since the Marsh brothers have been in trouble for misbehaviour previously.

North did not verify that but stuck to his line about giving everyone a run in the event. "We brought 15 players over for this tournament, it was a dead rubber for us and we wanted to give those guys an opportunity to play in a big tournament like this," he said.

Scorchers' coach Lachlan Steven had earlier said there would be "further discussions about things" once the team returned home, hinting that some corrective measures would be taken. But North could not say whether there would be any action: "I have no idea. I can't speak on behalf of Cricket Australia."

Instead, he chose to focus on the reasons for the teams' poor performance in South Africa, especially after they were expected to do better. "It's been a frustrating campaign for us. We had the Titans first, who were very hungry on their home patch. And then in Durban against Kolkata, [we were] very much on our way to posting a winning total … " North said. Rain came down with the Scorchers on 91 for 2 and they did not get back on the field.

"Against Delhi we came back against a side who have four players who have been international captains [Mahela Jayawardene, Ross Taylor, Kevin Pietersen and Virender Sehwag] and are so good that David Warner can't even get a place. It was good to get a win today. Titans' Martin van Jaarsveld, who I played with at Glamorgan, came to me and said we should do them a favour and we did." Scorchers' victory meant both the Titans and Delhi Daredevils qualified for the semis.

What awaits the Scorchers once they're home is uncertain, especially after national chairman of selectors John Inverarity told SEN radio station that there needed to be "some changes," at Western Australia to "recapture their culture". North dismissed the seriousness of that comment when he said, "He is not part of Western Australia management."

The team has suffered a few barren years, having last won silverware in 2004, and are believed to have a number of behind the scenes problems. North did not delve into any of them but said he is "excited" for the season ahead. In the meanwhile, he thinks his countrymen at Sydney Sixers could go on to win the Champions League and called them the "best performing unit" of the tournament.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Roo on October 25, 2012, 7:50 GMT

    It has been an on-going issue with Shaun & Mitch is following in his footsteps - lack of self control & binging... This is the 3rd time this year for Mitch that I know of... Us mere mortals would get sacked instantly for turning up to work in that state - at least AFL & NRL have addressed these issues publicly while in cricket it is hidden in the back cupboard... snafu...

  • Brian on October 24, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    For some reason, bowlers cant seem to bowl the number of overs they did 20 years ago, nor handle their beer as well as they did either. With Invers talking about culture, maybe the number of meaningless matches and tournaments is catching up with the younger players, whose determination and resilience of character face greater demands (by volume of workload) than those who played in his generation.

  • Sanjay on October 24, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    @Chandana Whateve & @Pane are frustrated Lankan fans. Boo Hoo! Where's my Mummy?

  • Justin on October 24, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    @vxttemp - i dont have an issue with the IPL sides however i do have an issue with the competition format that allows 4 domestic teams from one country to automatically qualify for the main event at the expense of the top teams from other leagues. If the IPL teams that finished 3 and 4, participated and won the qualifiers then i doubt many people would complain about the way they got in. Please also keep in mind players like Hussey and Johnson played with their IPL sides (not sure of the exact reasons - legal or player preference) but that both strengthens the IPL side and weakens their domestic side - as an Aussie I would rather support Sydney and Perth in the comp so dont like when players swap jerseys!

  • Dummy4 on October 24, 2012, 11:54 GMT

    IPL teams get to play 4 overseas. Most of the others have 1 maybe 2 most. Love to see the IPL teams manage with 1 overseas, who would take the wickets and score the runs for them.

    CLT20 is the most unbalanced, meaningless tournament in cricket history.

  • imran on October 24, 2012, 9:21 GMT

    @vxttemp. IPL champions KKR just one match and MI the defending champions of CL was winless.S o what is the standered of IPL and CL.

  • ashley on October 24, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    young blokes these days just cant handle their grog hahaha. seriously though cricket is a game and the fact that the players don't socialise after the match is very sad. not only does it allow the players to forge life long mates, it also ensures their are some old heads around the young blokes when they do get on the cans. people should read steve waughs diaries . we played we won we partied, we trainned and had few beers, we played went to sponsers function and partied. I'm not suggesting everyone should drink but its about bloody time the players are treated like menand not boys. fact is if your scoring runs or taking wickets your welcome in my team, and i don,t care if you prepared by drinking a case, having a twinings or even did some stretching. that said the onus goes on the player don't perform and you cost yourself the dollars. cricket associations worry about cricket and not mothering, leave that to their mothers

  • Anver on October 24, 2012, 4:20 GMT

    More dead rubbers in this year's CLT20, one or two at the final stages is acceptable, this is T20 cricket & crowd/viewers should get the maximum. rain spoiled few matches too which is unavoidable........ the format & IPL qualifications should be changed & give all the team equal chances !!!!! Over all i think CLT20 2012 is not as fans expected & surely need few changes in future !!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on October 24, 2012, 3:25 GMT

    i think all cricket players should get a rest some period,,too much cricket in this period after T20 now CLT and after series are coming to india,southafrica,sri lanka ,newzealnd ...etc no high crowd for watching CLT,,i think thats the reason to low crowd.

  • David on October 24, 2012, 2:46 GMT

    @ Chandana Fonseka on (October 23 2012, 21:36 PM GMT). This competition is owned jointly by Australia, India and South Africa. Why would SA & Aus not play in their own Cricket League?? TV audience has nothing to do with this - the League is established, and functions. Pakistan, England, NZ, Windies etc are GUESTS of the League owners, who give them an opportunity to play in THEIR League. And what is unfair about 2 South African teams beating out 3 IPL teams to the semis? Is it unfair because South Africans are so much better at cricket than Indians, or is it unfair that the Indian teams are not allowed to have even more South Africans playing for them? You don't seem to understand anything about the Champions League. You don't even seem to understand that you are responding to an article in which Firdose wrote about an Australian team….and wrote nothing about the IPL, Eng, Pak, SA, etc! Clueless!

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