A three-year deal for Shaun Marsh with Melbourne Renegades was made to look like a shrewd bit of business on the very day it was announced, after the left-hander’s dropping from the ODI team suggested he was likely to be available to the defending champions for virtually the whole of the Big Bash League next summer.
Having been a part of the Perth Scorchers squad, closely linked to the Western Australian state set-up of which he is also a part, ever since the BBL’s inception in 2011, 35-year-old Marsh is believed to have knocked back a one-year contract with the team of his hometown in order to pursue greater security and a fresh environment in Melbourne.
Having done so, he will be moving from the team that bottomed out after a long run of success by finishing last on the tournament table in 2018-19, to the side that under the leadership of captain Aaron Finch and coach Andrew McDonald have been able to lift the BBL trophy for the first time.
I’m ready for a new challenge and the opportunity to join the Renegades on the back of such a successful season is very exciting
The Renegades’ desire to follow up their success has been underlined by winning Marsh’s signature, in a move that will raise further questions over the future of the uncontracted Cameron White. At the same time, the Docklands Stadium-based team can expect to see plenty of Finch in 2019-20 given his unsuccessful foray into Test cricket in the absence of the banned David Warner and Steven Smith this season.
“I’d like to thank everyone at the Scorchers who have supported me over the years – it was a very successful period for the club,” Marsh said. “But I’m ready for a new challenge and the opportunity to join the Renegades on the back of such a successful season is very exciting. I’ve spent a lot of time with Finchy and know the other guys well, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Marsh’s declining international fortunes – he started the season as one of the first players picked in the Test and ODI teams – were likely a factor in his decision to accept the long-term contract with the Renegades.
However, a slim sequence of scores in the long form against Pakistan and India saw him dropped before the end of the Test season, and another run of outs in India resulted in Marsh losing his place for the deciding ODI in Delhi, after Ashton Turner’s match-winning effort in Mohali forced the selectors to retain him once Marcus Stoinis was fit again after a thumb injury.
These circumstances have meant that Marsh’s potential BBL value has increased, leaving the Scorchers vulnerable after they could only offer him a one-year deal.
“Shaun is one of the most experienced players in the country and excels in white-ball cricket,” McDonald said. “His BBL record speaks for itself and he’ll give us even greater flexibility at the top of our batting order. We’ve been on the end of a few of Shaun’s big performances over the years so it’s nice to have him as a team-mate instead.”
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.