Door stays ajar for dropped Marsh
Shaun Marsh. Pic: Getty Images

Coach Lachlan Stevens believes besieged batsman Shaun Marsh has a future in WA cricket despite excessive drinking which led to his axing from the Perth Scorchers during their failed Champions League campaign.

Stevens admitted Marsh was not the only Scorchers player involved in a boozy team celebration for Mitch Marsh’s 21st birthday.

Mitch Marsh was also dropped.

The Marsh brothers will be required to prove their commitment to the Warriors before they regain the trust of the State coaching and selection panel.

A meeting at the WACA on Monday is set to decide their immediate playing futures.

“If Shaun wants to continue playing the door is not shut on him,” Stevens said.

“We would like to see him come back and do things right again.

“This is not an emphatic end to Shaun’s career and he has a role to play if he chooses it.”

Stevens revealed that repeated behavioural and drinking issues with the talented Marsh brothers were the catalyst for them being axed for Perth’s dead rubber against Auckland on Tuesday.

South African import Herschelle Gibbs would also have been dropped but for the lack of potential replacements and the recognition that any disciplinary action against him would have had little impact on WA cricket.

Match-winning Gibbs is contracted to the Scorchers for this summer’s Big Bash and is set to return despite misgivings about his impact in the team.

“They (Marsh brothers) were not the only players involved (last Thursday),” Stevens said. “But the history of those players was that they again made poor choices. They weren’t necessarily singled out. We have tried our best with consultation and counselling with those players over a period of time, as have Cricket Australia, as have past administrations, over their behaviour leading into cricket matches and around cricket matches.”

Stevens admitted that the importance of Perth’s match against Delhi at Cape Town last Sunday was part of the reason the Marsh brothers were retained in the team before being disciplined in the dead rubber game at Centurion.

Stevens said the lack of evidence about what happened the night of Mitch Marsh’s birthday party had also made it difficult to apply immediate disciplinary action.
“We were going into a game where we were still alive so we tried to pick the best team available for the Scorchers to win the fixture,” Stevens said. “That decision was based on us still working through the process of what had happened. The information around their preparation was still being assessed.

“There were a lot of people involved in what happened, but Shaun missed out on the game. In hindsight, I don’t know if it was the right decision but it was the best decision based on the evidence we had.”

Stevens said Mitch Marsh had put his enormous potential at risk if he did not improve his attitude towards preparation and lifestyle choices.

“Mitchell Marsh has a 15-year international career if he chooses that pathway,” Stevens said.

“No one in the country or world cricket doubts his ability.”

The West Australian

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