Shaun Marsh has echoed the players' commitment to play a full season of domestic cricket this summer.
A full domestic cricket season was a unanimous resolution of the Australian Cricket Council when it met in August, and Marsh says the players have shown the commitment and flexibility to ensure it can be played, starting with the first four rounds of the competition in Adelaide.
“There's been lots of sacrifices from the players from all of the states,” Marsh said.
“The guys from Victoria are quarantining now for two weeks before they start their first game and the New South Wales team basically jumped on a plane right away to get over here. There have been commitments from every state.”
Western Australia entered the Sheffield Shield hub last Thursday, where they will spend five weeks in Adelaide for their opening four games of the competition. A two-week quarantine period is also awaiting Marsh and his teammates upon their arrival back to their home state. Despite the unusual circumstance inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Marsh said the players are grateful for the opportunity to commence the season.
“It’s obviously a little bit different to what we’re used to. But for the sake of getting our season up and running and playing cricket, it's a very small price to pay. We're really fortunate that we're getting an opportunity to play four games in a hub in Adelaide. We're very thankful for the ACA and Cricket Australia to provide us with an opportunity to start the season.”
Western Australia are in search of their first Sheffield Shield crown in 21 years, and started off their campaign with 205 run win against South Australia. Captaining in the absence of his brother, Marsh brought up his 29th first-class century in the second innings.
Last season, the 37-year-old was voted by his peers as the Men’s Domestic Player of the Year, averaging 52.88 with the bat across all three formats with 1,322 runs and finished third on the Shield run-scorers tally (727 runs).
“The Sheffield Shield such a strong competition and it's probably the best first-class competition in the world. The guys hold in the highest of regard,” Marsh said.
Victoria will face Tasmania on October 30 following their two-week isolation period while Western Australia will be meeting New South Wales on Monday for its first fixture of the season. Last month, ACA Chief Executive Alistair Nicholson praised the players for their dedication and sacrifice to get the game back up and running in Australia.
"Our players place an enormous value on our domestic competitions, and this has been reflected in their commitment and flexibility to get the game going."
Round two of the Shield will kick off with Western Australia playing New South Wales on Monday while South Australia will host Tasmania.
The WBBL will get underway in Sydney on October 26 with four games scheduled on the opening Sunday.