The Western Warriors opening batsman Marcus North is not ‘overly disappointed’ that his side will not be facing Australian captain in the Bupa Sheffield Shield final in Canberra.
“It’s certainly up there as one of the biggest occasions of my career,” said the former international who will be playing his first Shield final in a first class career that stretches the length of WA’s 15-year absence from the competition decider. “It reminds me of the anticipation and excitement of being picked to play a Test Tour.
“I’ve been playing for 14 or 15 years and just haven’t played in a Sheffield Shield final, so I cannot wait and I’m so excited. This is one of the missing links of my career.
“I’ve been able to achieve a few things, play for my country, play county cricket and state cricket, but never play in a Shield final,” he added. “Hopefully, it’s a winning Shield final in a weeks’ time and that can be something I can hold very close to my heart.”
Western Australia qualified for the final by finishing the regular season in second position on the competition table. The final against New South Wales marks a rematch of the closing round of the regular season, which the Blues won at the Canberra ground by three wickets.
“I won’t be playing for anyone else,” North commented when asked whether his playing future would continie beyond the end of the season. “My main objective is this week and I’m really looking forward to enjoying that experience of a Shield final.
“After that, I’ll sit down with Justin (coach Justin Langer) and WACA management and look after my future from there, but I won’t be playing for anyone else other than Western Australia.
“Physically, I’m good and that’s always good,” he continued. “The other thing for me is whether I’m enjoying and performing in my cricket.
“This year, I’ve arguably enjoyed it the most of any I’ve played and I guess that happens when you’re playing with a young side and winning games of cricket and an added bonus is performing well individually.
“It’s been a really good year, hopefully we’ll have good week, have some fun over in Canberra and come back with a win.”
Michael Clarke has withdrawn from the final with a fractured shoulder.
“I’m not overly disappointed,” said North. “(It means) arguably it’s one of the world’s best batters that we don’t have to face.
“Obviously Doug Bollinger’s been called up to the World Twenty20 squad, so he’s unavailable and they’re missing a couple of key players that they’d ideally like to have, but New South Wales cricket we know is very strong.
“They’ve got a lot of depth and the way Steve Smith led as a captain and as a player last week, he’s a real danger man.
“They’ve got some very good cricketers over there, especially in those conditions.
“We’ve got the advantage over them; we’ve played against them.
“We played against them last week in the same conditions we’re going to face in the final, so we’ll be very well prepared moving into next week.”
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