Ashton Agar says Marcus Stoinis chat helped him decide to become white-ball gun for hire

Aaron Kirby
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Ashton Agar says a discussion with close mate and fellow Australian cricketer Marcus Stoinis helped seal the deal on leaving state cricket.
Ashton Agar says a discussion with close mate and fellow Australian cricketer Marcus Stoinis helped seal the deal on leaving state cricket. Credit: James Worsfold/Getty Images

Perth Scorchers spinner Ashton Agar says a discussion with close mate and fellow Australian cricketer Marcus Stoinis helped seal the deal on leaving state cricket behind to become a white-ball free agent.

Agar decided not to take a state contract for the upcoming 2024-25 summer, instead jumping on the ever-growing and highly-paid global T20 circuit.

The 30-year-old had fallen down the pecking order for WA in Shield cricket, with young offspinner Corey Rocchiccioli cementing his spot in the first-choice XI.

Sign up to The Nightly's newsletters.

Get the first look at the digital newspaper, curated daily stories and breaking headlines delivered to your inbox.

Email Us
By continuing you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.

“I’d probably been thinking about it for a little while, to be honest. Having been away so much and travelling with the Australian white-ball team. It meant that I hadn’t, you know, really played in red-ball cricket for a long time,” Agar told the Herald Sun.

“I found myself in this position of seeing a lot more white-ball than I did red-ball. But also, over that period, the games have grown apart so quickly.

“I spoke to Stoin (Marcus Stoinis) quite a bit about it. I think he has a really good sort of strategic brain; he sees things quite clearly and projects well, quite healthily, into the future, if that makes sense. So I spoke to him about it.”

Agar also said his passion for the longest format had also diminished after an up-and-down career, saying he was keen to play the cricket that excited him most.

“Bowling with a really old ball feels very different to bowling with a harder white ball,” he said.

“But also just bowling the same ball six balls in a row and having to hit that one spot, to be honest, having to do that all the time isn’t probably as exciting for me. I’ve always been a bowler that tries to mix it up.

“I don’t have a lot of fun bowling six of the same balls. I quite like bowling arm balls or cross-seam or, you know, just playing with different variations. So that was definitely a challenge.

“And I guess that’s what makes Test cricket so hard is that you have to be so good at something for such a long time. And you certainly need to practice that a lot.

“And in white-ball cricket, particularly T20s as a spinner, the key is being unpredictable. So batters can’t line you up.

“They’re worlds apart, those two skills. I think if I was playing red-ball cricket in between those tours, you’d probably be in a better place to step into a Test match like that or just bowl with the red ball, but when you’re not exposed to it for a substantial amount of time, definitely it poses challenges.”

Australia's Marcus Stoinis.
Australia's Marcus Stoinis. Credit: Aijaz Rahi/AP

The move already appears justified after Agar was confirmed in Australia’s 15-man squad for next month’s T20 World Cup.

It will be a second chance at World Cup glory, after missing last year’s ODI World Cup triumph due to a calf injury, as Australia look to unify the major ICC trophies in the West Indies and America.

The all-conquering Aussies are the current holders of the World Test Championship mace and the ODI World Cup trophy.

Australia begin their campaign on June 6 against Oman with the tournament officially getting underway on June 1.

Comments

Latest Edition

The front page of The Nightly for 21-05-2024

Latest Edition

Edition Edition 21 May 202421 May 2024

The PM, the terrorist and the A-list barrister demanding war crimes charges.