WACA season launch: new skipper Mitch Marsh eyes breaking WA’s shield drought

Western Warriors captain Mitch March with Western Fury captain Elyse Villani.
Western Warriors captain Mitch March with Western Fury captain Elyse Villani.

MITCH Marsh will make his debut as captain when the Western Warriors play NSW at the WACA on Friday.

At the WACA season launch this morning, Marsh said he was looking forward to leading “this special group of young men” at the WACA, which he described as “my home”.

“I have a great relationship with my players and my one responsibility is to get the best out of every one of them.”

The Warriors will be aiming to win their first Sheffield Shield in 19 years but will have to do it without Ashton Agar who will have surgery on a broken finger that he injured in India playing for Australia.

He will be off the field for six to eight weeks.

Marsh said the playing group often talked about breaking the Sheffield Shield drought and had spoken to older players about what winning the shield had meant to them.

The Western Fury, led by skipper Elyce Villani for the second year, will play its first match away against Adelaide on October 6, which is also the Joondanna resident’s birthday.

Villani said she had missed most of pre-season but was confident the team was ready for 2017-18, the first season female cricketers have been offered multi year contracts.

“I remember my first year playing cricket I was on Centrelink and still at uni,” she said.

Fury coach Lisa Keightley has signed on for another two years after this season while Warriors coach Justin Langer will stay on for three years after this season.

Current and past players used the season launch to share memories of playing at the WACA, which will host its final Ashes test in December before moving to the new Perth Stadium.

Langer, Mitchell Johnson and former female cricketer Peta Verco, who played 13 tests for Australia, agreed they would miss seeing children playing on the hills at the WACA as they battled it out on the field, and the Mr Whippy van among the crowd along with memorable songs from the Barmy Army.

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