Shaun Marsh has announced his retirement from state cricket, bringing an end to a 22-season run which delivered some of WA’s most memorable moments.

Marsh grew up in and around the WACA Ground and dressing rooms while his father, Geoff, was playing for WA and Australia.

The gifted junior made his debut in the Sheffield Shield as a teenager during the 2000-2001 season, breaking through for his maiden century against a strong New South Wales side in 2003.

In 2007-2008, he was awarded the Laurie Sawle Medal, awarded to WA’s best male cricketer of the season.

His highest Shield score of 214 not out, came in October 2019 against Victoria.

Three people sit at a table during a press conference, two men and a woman.
Shaun Marsh announces his retirement, flanked by WACA chief executive Christina Matthews and WA coach Adam Voges. (ABC News: Briana Shepherd)

Marsh said while there was no doubt he was going to miss cricket, he was feeling relieved, having been wrestling with the decision to retire for a while.

“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 [my wife] Bec a fair bit about it and obviously dad and my brother as well and I knew deep down inside of me it was the right decision to make.

“It’s been an amazing journey, never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be here for 22 years.”

‘Mentally I’m cooked’

Marsh said that while certain of his decision, telling the rest of the team had been one of the hardest things he has ever had to do.

“Over the last probably month or so, coming back into the Shield team in Adelaide and then breaking my finger again really took the wind out of me and it’s been a real fight since then to come back and try to be a part of it again,” he said.

“As I said to the guys this morning, 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.

A man walks off a cricket field carrying a bat after being dismissed.
Marsh played his last Test for Australia against India in 2019. (AAP Image: Dan Himbrechts)

“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.”

When asked if Marsh would follow in his dad’s footsteps once again and step into a coaching role, Marsh said he was going to “let the dust settle first”.

“I’m going to enjoy a nice break and be around my family who have sacrificed so much to allow me to go and play the game that I love,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to being at home and chilling out and being there for Bec and my kids.”

Incredible career

Marsh finished his career as the third-highest run scorer for WA in Shield cricket, scoring 8347 runs, including 20 centuries and 43 half centuries.

He earned himself a Cricket Australia contract before winning the Orange Cap as the top scorer of the 2008 Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition.

The left-handed batter played 126 times for Australia, across all three formats of the game, tallying more than 5,000 runs and striking 13 centuries, during an international career that ran from 2008 to 2019.

He played 38 Test matches during that time, making six centuries, including on debut against Sri Lanka.

A family with a man and wife and three children standing on a large grassed over with a grandstand in the background
Shaun Marsh with wife Rebecca and their children Austin (standing), Mabel (left) and Ted after his retirement announcement. (ABC News: Briana Shepherd)

Injury and form slumps saw Marsh maligned by many cricket fans but in WA he was considered one of the best.

Among his most memorable moments was making a century at the SCG while batting with his brother Mitch in 2018.

Another highlight came in 2021-2022 when Marsh captained WA to its first Sheffield Shield title since 1998-99.

Two cricket players embrace, one with his helmet off.
Shaun Marsh (right) celebrates a century against England at the SCG in 2018 with a hug from brother Mitch. (AAP Image: David Moir)

Marsh featured during WA’s Marsh One-Day Cup triumph the same year, before announcing he would be stepping back from 50-over cricket shortly before the 2022-23 Australian domestic season commenced.

That win was one of three domestic one-day tournament titles Marsh won in his career. 

Throughout his career Marsh won two Big Bash League trophies, playing a starring role when the Scorchers won back-to-back titles in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.

Marsh, who turns 40 in July, will continue to play in the Big Bash, for the Melbourne Renegades. 

Marsh ‘an outstanding man’

WA Cricket chief executive Christina Matthews said it was a sad day for Western Australian cricket.

“I’ve been here for 12 of Shaun’s 22 years and anybody who can play over two decades of cricket at the highest level is an outstanding athlete,” she said.

“And Shaun’s proved himself to be an outstanding man around our organisation and with our team.

A man playing an aggressive cricket show.
Marsh wields the bat during a one-day international against England in 2011. 

“You can tell the esteem in which Shaun’s held with the entire men and women’s playing group here today, board, families and everybody here to acknowledge Shaun and what he’s given to this organisation.”

WA men’s head coach, Adam Voges, said he was pleased to have been able to share a lot of the journey with Marsh – first as a friend and teammate, and later as a coach.

“He came to WA cricket as a 17-year-old prodigy and ends as a 39-year-old father of three, a champion of WA cricket and a leader within our group,” he said.