He’s 34 years old and has played 208 first-class games, but Warriors opener Marcus North will be feeling a major case of nerves when he lines up in this week’s Sheffield Shield final against NSW at Manuka Oval.
North is yet to play in a Shield final, with his only silverware for Western Australia coming in 2003/04 when WA beat Queensland to win the one-day title.
The Shield crown is what North covets the most, and his 884 runs at an average of 68 has given WA the chance to snare the title.
North has urged the young Warriors squad not to waste a rare chance at glory.
“This is right up there as one of the biggest occasions of my career,” said North, who represented Australia at Test level 21 times.
“It reminds me of the anticipation and excitement I felt when I got picked in South Africa for a Test tour.
“I’ve been playing for 14, 15 years and never played in a Shield final. I’m so excited. I guess this is one of the missing links of my career.
“Hopefully I play in a winning Shield final in a weeks’ time. That will be something I’d hold very close to my heart.”
The Warriors received a big boost on Monday when Test skipper and star NSW batsman Michael Clarke was ruled out with a fractured shoulder.
WA’s squad to face NSW could feature five players under the age of 21, meaning much of the responsibility will fall on the shoulders of North, Adam Voges, Shaun Marsh and paceman Michael Hogan.
“I think we’re fighting history in a way if we do win next week,” North said.
“It will arguably one of the youngest side in terms of average age.
“We’re all nervous to a degree. We’re all first timers at this. Hopefully these young guys can step up along with the older blokes.”