Big Bash League: Fourth title could be sweetest of lot, says Perth Scorchers coach Adam Voges

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Jordan McArdleThe West Australian
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01:  Justin Langer, coach of the Scorchers celebrates their victory with Adam Voges of the Scorchers during the Big Bash League match between the Perth Scorchers and the Sydney Sixers at WACA on January 1, 2018 in Perth, Australia.  (Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images)
Camera IconPERTH, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 01: Justin Langer, coach of the Scorchers celebrates their victory with Adam Voges of the Scorchers during the Big Bash League match between the Perth Scorchers and the Sydney Sixers at WACA on January 1, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images) Credit: Stefan Gosatti/Getty Images

Adam Voges has won the equal-most titles in Big Bash League history, with three during his playing days at Perth Scorchers.

But the now Scorchers coach believes this one would be “right up there” with the sweetest because of the adversity his playing group and support staff have dealt with along the way.

Saturday’s qualifier final against arch-rivals Sydney Sixers at Marvel Stadium will be Perth’s 14th game in a row away from Optus Stadium, with the group spending more than five weeks on the road, and counting.

Positive COVID cases among players, ever-tightening bubble restrictions and last-minute fixture changes are just some of the obstacles the Scorchers have overcome to finish top of the ladder.

“It would be up there, for sure,” Voges said.

“The way that this group has met all the challenges that have been thrown at them all the way through this tournament and to show that adaptability and resilience that they have shown.

“To see guys who may not have got opportunities to step up and make the most the chances that they’ve got has been really pleasing to see.

“Just the way that the group has gone about it, they’re a great bunch of people and I think the staff have done a terrific job behind the scenes.

“Regardless of how the rest of the tournament goes, I’m just incredibly proud of everyone.”

WA Premier Mark McGowan’s border backdown means players will have to quarantine for 14 days upon arriving home after the tournament and gain G2G approval, with allrounder Mitch Marsh revealing he may not get back until July now.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 17: Peter Hatzoglou (L) of the Scorchers celebrates with teammate Ashton Agar after dismissing Nathan McSweeney of the Heat during the Men's Big Bash League match between the Brisbane Heat and the Perth Scorchers at Marvel Stadium, on January 17, 2022, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)
Camera IconNew recruit Peter Hatzoglou celebrates a wicket with teammate Ashton Agar. Credit: Mike Owen/Getty Images

Marsh described the news as “gut-wrenching” but backed the group to overcome their latest hurdle in a COVID-hit tournament.

“It’s gut-wrenching,” Marsh told SEN.

“We’ve sort of had it for a couple of years now and I certainly had my hopes up that the 5th of Feb was going to be the day that I can get home.

“We’ve said it a number of times as a group, we knew that we were going to have challenges and this is just another one for us to get over.

“There’s plenty people in Australia and around the world doing it worse than us. It’s our job now to play good cricket and put a smile on peoples’ faces and on Scorchers fans’ faces.

“We’ll get home eventually but for me it’s probably not until the middle of July now so I’m looking at a pretty long stint away.”

Sixers captain Moises Henriques admits it’s “a little bit disappointing” that the blockbuster clash will be played at a neutral venue because of WA’s strict border measures.

The winner of Saturday’s clash gets direct entry into next Friday’s BBL final, with the loser getting a second chance.

Both teams have won three titles, with the Sixers going for a record third in a row.

“It is unfortunate for Perth, for their team and obviously their State that they can’t host this match,” Henriques said.

“It’s such a good crowd over there in terms of the atmosphere and the support that the Scorchers get from their crowd.

“Even for us being a Sydney Sixer, knowing that you’re probably going to get abused a little, you know that the atmosphere is going to be good and that there’s going to be noise and it’s going to be a really good vibe.

“It’s a little bit disappointing that we don’t get that.”

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