Mitch Marsh keen for county stint

Stringent UK visa regulations have blocked Mitch Marsh from pursuing a county contract in recent years.

But with Australian coach Darren Lehmann highlighting his squad’s lack of experience in English conditions in the aftermath of their Ashes defeat, it’s an issue which has come into sharper focus for him.

To be sure, the rise and rise of the Indian Premier League has also played a part in the ability of players to commit to a stint in England.

Coupled with a helter-skelter international schedule, the lure of the IPL has left them unquestionably time-poor.

However, complex and cumbersome visa requirements have also prevented burgeoning stars from undertaking what was a right of passage for so many Australian cricketers.

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) rules govern that only one overseas player is permitted in each side for the first-class and one-day competitions.

Players must also fulfil criteria regarding top-level international experience to obtain a visa, something Marsh was unable to do prior to his Test debut last October.

“To be able to learn my trade in these conditions would be awesome,” Marsh said on the eve of Australia’s tour game in Northampton.

“That’s something I’ve wanted to do over the past few years.

“But with the visa qualifications I haven’t been able to.

“Now that I do qualify, over the next few years hopefully it gives me an opportunity to come over here and play as much cricket as I can … to prepare for (Ashes series in) coming years.”

Marsh felt a season in England’s domestic competition would enhance both his batting and bowling, helping him lean more about the Dukes ball and local pitches prior to the 2019 Ashes.

“Everyone that comes over here says that it’s awesome for your cricket. Hopefully that’s the case for me,” he said.

Marsh, a power hitter and talented allrounder, could instead opt to make a poultice in the IPL.

The 23-year-old has shunned the Twenty20 riches in recent years to give himself a better chance of carving out a Test career.

“I’ve seen the gains in my cricket from that,” he said.

“It will be a case of judging it when it comes (a potential clash between IPL and county cricket).

“It’s a tough one.”

Incoming skipper Steve Smith, who played a season of Kent club cricket in 2007 due to a British passport, noted pre-series he would “have loved to play county cricket”.

“I still would like to at some point in my career,” Smith said.

Meanwhile, Australia face Northants in a three-day game that starts on Friday at 8pm (AEST).

Chairman of selectors Rod Marsh addressed the group at training on Wednesday, imploring them to finish the tour on a high when the fifth Test starts next Thursday.

“Although the series is over we’ll be going out with a lot to play for in this last Test,” Mitch Marsh said.

“To send our skipper out on a winning note is a big emphasis.”

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