SHAUN MARSH has revealed how Australia coach Darren Lehmann’s fond recollections of playing for Yorkshire helped inspire him to sign for the club.
Lehmann remains a cult hero in Yorkshire cricket after scoring 8,871 first-class runs for the county at an average of 68.76 between 1997 and 2006.
And Marsh, the 33-year-old Australian left-hander who has signed for the rest of the season, said Lehmann’s love affair with the club helped influence his decision to follow in his footsteps.
“I’ve picked his (Lehmann’s) brains,” said Marsh.
“He’s always talked fondly about Yorkshire, and there’s been a lot of Australian players who have come over here in the last few years.
“He (Lehmann) always wants his players to come over here (to England) and play, and he obviously had a long history with Yorkshire and played very well.
“It’s nice to be here and to be here knowing that he’s been here too, along with a lot of Australian players.”
Marsh will make his debut in Yorkshire’s opening NatWest T20 Blast match against Notts at Headingley on Friday.
He hopes a successful spell at the club will help to rekindle his international career after he lost his place earlier this year.
“I certainly haven’t given up the dream of playing for Australia again, but I probably know at my age that I have to score a mountain of runs to get back in,” he admitted.
“It’s a long way away at the moment, but, if I put runs on the board, you never know.
“It all starts here (at Yorkshire) and then I need a strong start to the season back home.
“But it’s not something I’m really thinking about at the moment; I just want to perform well for Yorkshire in the T20s, first and foremost, and maybe in some back-end red-ball cricket and go home with a few runs under my belt.”
Although Marsh has been signed primarily for the T20 (he is Yorkshire’s second overseas player for the tournament alongside fellow countryman Peter Handscomb), he could feature in the Championship too.
Clubs are only permitted to field one overseas player in the four-day competition, but Marsh could fill in for Handscomb when he goes on Australia’s two-Test tour to Bangladesh in August/September.
“There might be an opportunity at the back end to play a few Championship games when Petey goes to the Bangladesh series,” said Marsh.
“But, for now, it’s always been a dream of mine to play the T20 stuff, so to be here at Yorkshire, I’m really looking forward to the next few months and hopefully I can get a few runs.
“I’ve met all the blokes, and I’ve got a connection with a couple of them that have played in the Big Bash.
“Obviously, I know Petey Handscomb well, having played with him for Australia, and Yorkshire have some fantastic players with a lot of experience.”
Marsh, son of former Australia opening batsman Geoff and brother of current international Mitchell, helped to save a Test with Handscomb against India at Ranchi earlier this year.
They shared a stand of 124 in 62 overs to help their side to a hard-fought draw.
“We had a good stand over in India and it was a fantastic day to be a part of,” said Marsh.
“I know it’s something I will look back on in 20 years’ time with very fond memories.
“Petey is a wonderful player and a really good guy, and he’s done very well for Yorkshire so far.
“He’s got a very good cricket brain and I’m sure there’s going to be plenty more hundreds to come from him in Australian colours.”
Marshs’s main job will be to help Yorkshire in their quest for a first T20 title.
He certainly boasts an impressive track record, having helped Perth Scorchers to three Big Bash League triumphs.
Marsh, who has hit 5,147 runs in 152 career T20 games, averaging 39.59 with a strike-rate of 128, also has extensive experience of the Indian Premier League.
He recently had a solid tournament for Kings XI Punjab, scoring 264 runs in eight innings at an average of 33.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing in the big T20 games, and I’ve been lucky enough to get some runs in finals,” said Marsh, who has played 15 T20 internationals to go with 23 Tests and 53 one-day internationals.
“Hopefully, I can bring my experience to Yorkshire and we can build some early momentum and have a really successful T20 campaign.”