Western Warriors beat New South Wales by eight-wickets on Sunday to go top of the Bupa Sheffield Shield table with two rounds to play, but coach Justin Langer is not one for making title promises.
“You couldn’t have written that script, to see those six wickets fall for three runs,” said Langer. “For us to play so well with so many young players, it’s not only exciting for the next weeks, it’s exciting for the next few years.”
“There’s a different feeling, a different confidence around the team, the young guys are in an environment where they are learning how to win now.
“I’ve said all along I’m not going to promise any results,” the coach continued. “We’re top of the table, we haven’t been in this position for a long time.
“It’s a bit like the Australian team, if we can keep our bowlers fit, Michael Hogan, Jason Behrendorff and Ryan Duffield.
“If we can keep getting some unbelievable output from Marcus North, Adam Voges and Sam Whiteman, who’s been outstanding, if they can maintain their form and some of the other guys keep improving and stepping up, there’s no reason why we can’t keep getting better.
“I still don’t think we’ve played our best cricket.”
The Warriors next Shield match is a ground-breaking day-night game against Queensland at the Gabba, starting on Monday.
“None of us have seen pink balls,” Langer admitted. “We’ll practice here under lights on Thursday night.
“It’s unusual but it is what it is.
“We keep talking about the system we work in, we’ll make the most of that and make sure we’re hopefully better prepared than Queensland.”
Langer was speaking on the 60th birthday of the famous manually-operated WACA Scoreboard which was dedicated on 24 February 1954 and stands in honour of the “memory of cricketers from Western Australia who gave their lives in the cause of freedom in two World Wars”.
The Ground’s original scoreboard was destroyed in a storm in 1948, however, a shortage of supplies following WWII resulted in a delay in erecting a new one, until the Nor-West Murchison Cricket Association raised more than £4000 of the required £7137 to have the WACA icon raised six years later.
The scoreboard was completed and operating in time for use in the Sheffield Shield clash between WA and Victoria on 19-23 February 1954, just prior to its dedication.
The scoreboard still stands and runs today – thanks to a band of dedicated operators – as the second oldest manually-operated Test scoreboard in the country, behind Adelaide Oval.
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James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
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