Age won't weary Shield record-breakers

Victoria skipper lands himself an impressive accolade while Voges, Bailey also register significant achievements

Three of the most experienced and respected figures in Australian cricket – Cameron White, Adam Voges and George Bailey – have added more feathers to their respective caps over the past few weeks as the Sheffield Shield season draws to a tense conclusion.

The trio have captained their states with varying degrees of personal and team success this summer; Bailey is the Shield's leading run-scorer even though his Tasmania side are languishing in last place on the ladder, while White and Voges are well and truly in the hunt for another domestic title with just two rounds remaining, despite mixed personal success on a batting front.


The veterans all achieved significant personal milestones last month, even though the most noteworthy of the three landmarks passed by without so much as a blip on the radar – until now.

When Victoria completed their win over South Australia in Adelaide on February 13, it was White's 36th Shield victory as captain, beating the previous record of 35 held by Queensland stalwart Stuart Law.

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White, who was famously elevated to the captaincy at the age of 20, has been a somewhat reluctant skipper this season but has stepped into the role following the Test call-ups of Matthew Wade and Peter Handscomb.

Having captained the side in four matches and with up to three games remaining, White could finish the summer on the verge of the all-time Shield record for most matches as captain.

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Should White remain skipper and the ladder-leading Bushrangers reach the final later this month, he will finish the season with 76 matches as captain, the fourth-most of all time and only four games behind Les Favell's all-time record of 80.

And with Victoria's captaincy in a state of flux given Wade has signalled his intention to return to Tasmania and Handscomb is an incumbent in both Test and ODI cricket, the 33-year-old may be given the opportunity to edge even closer to Favell's record next summer.

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But he has conceded he's unlikely to add to his 139 international caps, despite showing strong form over the past few seasons.

"It's a glimmer of hope now these days," White said last month. "It seems like it's a long way away.

"I guess you still hold out hope of playing cricket for Australia, like everyone playing domestic cricket.

"Just the way selection is going it seems like it's a way off at the moment.

"I really enjoy playing cricket for Victoria, playing well and winning, so that's the focus now."


While White is expected to play on with the Vics, the decorated Shield career of former Test batsman Voges looks to have only a month left to run.

The 37-year-old, who was dropped from the Test side in November despite an average of 61.87, is yet to commit to another season with the Warriors, although he will play English county cricket with Middlesex this northern summer.

WA's thumping win against Victoria over the weekend was their 23rd with Voges in charge, breaking John Inverarity's state record of 22 that had stood for 38 years.

And the veteran will likely surpass even more WA legends later this month; with 110 Shield matches to his name, he will go past former teammate Marcus North (111) before the season is out and will also top Mike Hussey (112) if the Warriors make the final.

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A tally of 113 matches would leave him third on the all-time list for his state, just one match behind Mike Veletta but still 19 short of Tom Moody's mark of 132.

And another 78 runs before the end of the season will see Voges top 7500 for his Shield career, just the fourth WA batsman to do so.

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"To hold that record (for most wins as WA captain) is something I am extremely proud of," Voges told the West Australian.

"I would certainly like to win a couple more, actually three more would be nice.

"We will see (if I play on next season).

"There is plenty of incentive to keep playing well at the moment, keep relaxing and then see how we go."


While Tasmania has had little to cheer about in a season that has yielded just one win and cost coach Dan Marsh his job, Bailey has stood up as his teammates have tumbled around him.

The right-hander, who was dropped from Australia's ODI side in January, averages 75 this Shield season and is 117 runs clear at the top of the competition's run-scoring table.

His unbeaten double-century against NSW in Wollongong over the weekend, his highest career score, also pushed him past 7000 career Shield runs for the Tigers, just the fifth batsman from the Apple Isle to reach the mark.

Bailey doubles up with career best

And Bailey is also now his state's most-capped skipper having overtaken David Boon's previous mark of 58 last month, and has moved into fifth spot on Tasmania's list of all-time Shield matches played, with 104.

But in a campaign that has brought little joy on a team front, his main focus is to help rebuild Tasmanian cricket, which will come under the gaze of a thorough review in the off-season.

"Regardless of what has happened and what will happen at the end of this season, I don't think it affected the players' efforts," Bailey said this week.

"We've given our all each game. We have identified we are not as skilled as some of the other states at the moment, we need to keep working our a***s off at getting better at playing cricket. We do know that.

"I can't fault the effort the players are putting in. That doesn't change whether you are top of the table or bottom of the table, you are still playing to win each game, you are playing for contracts, you are playing for pride."