Shaun Marsh's farewell from professional cricket has been ruined by rain after the Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Thunder clash was abandoned without a ball being bowled on Wednesday night. Marsh announced earlier this week that he was retiring from all forms of cricket after the current BBL season, bowing out of the game after 24 years.
The 40-year-old revealed on Sunday that Wednesday's clash for the Renegades against the Thunder would be his last match ever, ending a domestic career that began in 2000-01 with Western Australia. But the weather gods had other ideas, and relentless rain in Sydney on Wednesday afternoon saw his farewell match scuppered.
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It comes after fellow Renegades veteran Aaron Finch played his final match on Friday night. Marsh opened the batting alongside Finch against the Melbourne Stars, in what has now turned out to be the last game for both. Finch made a duck in his final innings, while Marsh made a masterful 64 not out off 49 balls.
"It's a little bit disappointing, but you can't control the weather," Marsh told Fox Cricket on Wednesday night. "I've enjoyed playing in the Big Bash and it's been a lot of fun.
"I probably knew at the start of the year this would be my last year, I've loved every minute of it but it's time to hang them up. When I first started playing, if you'd told me I'd be playing at 40 I'd have laughed at you."
Marsh announced last year that he was retiring from first-class cricket, but would still play in the BBL this summer. He finishes up having played 575 games of elite cricket.
"I have loved playing for the Renegades, I've met some great people over the last five years and the friendships I've made will last a lifetime," he said in Sunday. "I owe a lot to the Scorchers, I've got some fond memories of playing in Perth and really enjoyed my time there. The back-to-back titles (with the Scorchers) are up there for me as the most enjoyable moments I've experienced on a cricket field."
Marsh played 38 Tests for Australia, famously making a century on debut against Sri Lanka in 2011. He scored over 5000 runs for his country in international cricket, having also played 73 one-dayers and 15 T20 internationals.
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In announcing his retirement from first-class cricket in March, the 40-year-old said it was the best decision for his family. "Even though it's been a really difficult decision to make I know it's the right call," he said. "I've been speaking with (wife) Bec a fair bit about it and obviously dad (Geoff) and my brother (Mitch) as well and I knew deep down inside of me it was the right decision to make.
"As I said to the [Western Australia] guys, I couldn't come into training anymore and look them in the eyes and say that I'm 100 per cent committed to what we wanted to achieve. Mentally I'm cooked and physically I'm cooked, and I know this is the right decision for myself, the playing group and my family." Fans expressed their sadness for Marsh on Wednesday night when his farewell to the game was ruined.
— ॐ नमः शिवाय (@Rara_chari) January 17, 2024
So his last game would be the match winning 64* against the Stars.
Fitting for someone who has the stellar record for Renegades to end on a high but still wanted to see him go one last time as he planned this game to be his last.
Thanks Shaun Marsh for the memories ❤️ https://t.co/4hTtidziCN
— TH62DW31 (@travisheadera) January 17, 2024
— Alex Sar #DonTheSash (@alexmatthewsar) January 17, 2024
So Shaun Marsh ends his career with an abandoned game, sums up his career, so near yet so far, a story of what could have been and ifs and buts...
Go well Marshy, it was pleasure till it lasted...For every Punjab fan you will always be a Cult eternal superstar! https://t.co/8NxaTHGWNA
— Gagan Chawla (@toecrushrzzz) January 17, 2024
I'm feeling sad he didn't get his farewell
— Son of The Footballing God (@IDrinkTearsYum) January 17, 2024
its a shame. marsh deserved a farewell game. thanks sos
— Ryanm1398 (@Ryanm13988) January 17, 2024
David Warner flops as Sydney Thunder get wooden spoon
The washout also means David Warner's cameo for the Thunder turned out disastrously, with the retired Test star losing both games he played in the BBL. Warner made just 13 and dropped a difficult catch on the first ball of the Adelaide Strikers' innings on Sunday night as the Thunder were walloped by nine wickets to leave them in last place.
Warner was desperate to try and help the Thunder turn around their form, and even took a helicopter to their game against the Sixers from his brother's wedding. But his two games resulted in two losses in an embarrassing season for the Sydney side.
The BBL finals will kick off on Friday night with the Brisbane Heat hosting the Sixers in the Qualifier - which will see the winner advance straight to the final. The Perth Scorchers will then play host to the Strikers in the 'Knockout' on Saturday night. The winner of the 'Knockout' will then face the loser of the Heat-Sixers game for a spot in the final.
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