The West

Warriors opener Davis has no team
Liam Davis. Pic: Getty Images

Dashing opener Liam Davis is set to make WA cricket history by becoming the first State player without a club team to return to between Warriors commitments.

Davis is not eligible to play for his preferred team University and is not willing to play for his original club Scarborough or Bayswater-Morley, where he played under permit for two seasons.

The record-breaking opener intends to prepare for the Warriors by playing second XI cricket and doing extra training on weekends. District cricket starts today.

"It is not ideal," WA coach Lachlan Stevens admitted.

"We want a situation where State players will go back to their clubs if they are not playing for WA.

"Liam will be part of the squad run by (development squad coach) Geoff Marsh during the next month and will have training and a second XI game in Sydney.

"We want professional cricketers to play grade cricket and part of the development of young players is that they get to play with and against these players."

The Davis predicament is the latest development in the widening gap between the best interests of the Warriors and the WACA's independent district competition.

Davis played at University last season when he scored 921 Sheffield Shield runs and became just the second WA batsman, alongside Marsh, to score a triple century.

But much of Davis' season was spent in dispute with the WA district cricket council - the body that runs club cricket - after Scarborough and Bayswater complained that he was ineligible to play for University.

It took until March - two weeks before the end of the season - before the council appeal board accepted that Davis' enrolment at the University of WA gave him the right to play for the club.

"Studying outside of cricket has been the best thing for my game because in my downtime I'm thinking about things other then where my next run is coming from," Davis told the appeal board.

"My technique has not changed from last year but what has changed is that cricket is now not the be all and end all of my life."

Davis gave up his university enrolment when he was selected for the Australia A tour of England in July and will not be able to enrol again until the new year.

The WACA was formed by district clubs in the 19th century. There was a close relationship between the bodies until last decade, when the cricket council was hived off from the association as part of constitutional changes.

The impact of that change was best summarised by a senior cricket council official during the Davis affair when he said the interests of the Warriors were no longer of any concern to district cricket.

The West Australian

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