May 032013

Cricket’s reformed party boy Mitch Marsh hopes to make a name for himself for all the right reasons at next month’s Champions Trophy one-day tournament in England.

Marsh made his 50-over debut against South Africa towards the end of 2011 and, despite not playing in another ODI since, was this week recalled to the national team.

While he’s been a prodigious talent on the field, the all-rounder has unfairly attracted more attention for off-field antics.

The 21-year-old was last year sent home from Cricket Australia’s academy in Brisbane and then disciplined further for his part in the Perth Scorchers’ late night out in South Africa to celebrate his birthday while competing at the Twenty Champions League.

“Over the past 12 to six months I have learnt a few lessons….. and I’m in a positive frame of mind now and hopefully I can go out there perform on the field for Australia,” Marsh said.

“Hopefully I can carry my form over in the next series and go on to bigger and better things. I’ve got my body in good shape at the moment and hopefully it can stay that way and I play a lot of cricket over the next 12 months.”

Marsh has scored 878 runs in his 27 Ryobi Cup games with an average of 39.90 and has also taken 21 wickets.

It was a century against Tasmania in first match back from a serious hamstring injury in Western Australia’s final one-day match of the summer that may have sealed his recall.

“It was nice to come back from injury and score a hundred in my first game.  I worked really hard to get back so I felt like it was a good reward.”

“I feel that my consistency was a lot better in the one-day format last year so hopefully I can pay back the faith the selectors have shown in me.”

Marsh knows there is a demand for all-rounders in the national team across all formats, and while he admits there’s a long way to go before he’s considered for the Test team, he certainly has the talent to eventually earn a baggy green cap.

“I’ve grown up always wanting to play Test cricket. It’s the hardest format and the pinnacle of our game,” he said.

 “Growing up, I always wanted to be batsman and when I was younger I used to always bat in the top five. I’ve still got very clear goals that I want to be a top order batsman.

“I’ve still got a long way and a lot of work to go but if I can keep my feet on the ground and keep working hard…but it’s just a matter of taking wickets and putting runs on the board.”

First Posted 03 May, 2013 6:31PM AEDT

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