Selectors swear Mitch remains firmly in the international mix and will be in England with Australia A should they need to call on him, but many more capable cricketers are now ahead of the 27-year-old WA captain in the pecking order, in all three formats.
Marsh’s non-selection came after he and paceman Josh Hazlewood were named vice captains for last year’s Test series against Pakistan, a promotion Shane Warne called “strange” after the all-rounder managed only 30 runs in four innings there, for a recent record that read 110 runs from 11 innings and six wickets in 11 Tests. Ouch, not what we had expected from the all-rounder they promised .
When Warne questions Australian cricket selections, he is usually right and historically heard.
“I hadn’t thought even before that series that he’d established himself in the team,” Warne said. “He’s done okay, but I don’t think he’s cemented his spot and that’s why it was a strange selection as vice-captain.”
Marsh was subsequently dropped for the home summer with the exception of being called up for the Boxing Day Test, but hasn’t played an ODI for his country since January 2018.
While he was the biggest casualty of CA’s contract list naming, incumbent Test batsmen Kurtis Patterson, Joe Burns and Marnus Labuschagne were also unlucky to be overlooked.
Patterson and Burns scored centuries in Australia’s last Test but with chief ball-tampering protagonists Steve Smith and David Warner available again, places were at a premium.
Shaun Marsh was one of four West Australians to receive central CA contracts alongside Nathan Coulter-Nile, Marcus Stoinis and Jhye Richardson.
He has had to fight for national selection throughout his career but continues to find a way to find form at the right time, with his versatility and experience in Test and ODI formats an asset.
His brother Mitch looks likely to follow the same topsy-turvy path and will need a bucket of runs and bags of wickets domestically to excite selectors, and then take his chance accordingly at international level… if it ever comes again.
2019/20 CA men’s contracts: Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Alex Carey, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
Australia World Cup squad: Aaron Finch (capt), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith,
Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Jason Behrendorff, Adam Zampa, Nathan Lyon.