Sheffield Shield 2023-24 – ‘This means more to me than the other two’ Paris pushes his limits to help WA to a hat-trick


With Western Australia just one wicket away from a hat-trick of Sheffield Shield titles after an electric passage of play late on day four, Joel Paris was in a reflective mood and turned to experienced teammates Sam Whiteman and Hilton Cartwright.

“I reckon this means more than the other two [titles],” he told them.

Moments later Paris sealed WA’s comprehensive victory over Tasmania with a blinder of a catch in the gully to trigger scenes of jubilation on-and-off the field at the WACA. “The boys reckon I put a little bit of mayo on it,” laughed Paris as he recalled to ESPNcricinfo his diving effort to his right.

“I was just happy it stuck. We had to grind away, we haven’t had it all our way. We played unbelievably well in Victoria to get a home final and then we’ve probably played our best cricket this week.

“This one probably sits right at the top for me. We haven’t had the quicks available this year that we normally have and we’ve just had to keep going. It’s very special.”

Without frontliners Jhye Richardson, Lance Morris and Matthew Kelly for most of the season, WA had to rely on their fringe quicks. Cameron Gannon, who took eight wickets in the final, and Charlie Stobo stepped up at the backend of the season, but it was the reliable presence of left-armer Paris that held the attack together.

Paris was unlucky to only take two wickets in the final as he again set the tone with menacing new ball bowling in both of Tasmania’s innings. He exploited the grassy surface superbly and consistently beat the bat with sharp seam movement.

Paris finished the season with 39 wickets at a remarkable average of just 15.2. In 44 first-class matches since debuting in late 2015, he has taken 174 wickets at 20.05 and striking at 45.9.

As can be gleaned from his relatively limited number of first-class appearances, Paris has endured a litany of injuries during his career forcing WA to be cautious with his workload.

After a delayed start to the season due to a hamstring injury suffered playing for Australia A against New Zealand A in Brisbane, Paris’ durability impressed as he played five straight Shield matches – along with WA’s triumph in the Marsh Cup against New South Wales – culminating with the Shield final.

“When you’re in a situation where you just have to keep going, I think your body senses that and just finds something,” Paris said. “I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to achieve this year. The amount of cricket I’ve been able to play…certainly haven’t been able to do it before.

“We’ve probably been in a position in past seasons where I’ve been able to rest a little bit more than what I have this season. To get through was really special.”

Paris, 31, played two ODIs against India in 2016, but his injuries and the depth of quicks in Australian cricket have kept him away from the international stage.

Paris, however, remains on the radar of the Australian hierarchy. Along with playing for Australia A last year, Paris was in the frame for selection on the last Ashes tour.

“That desire to play for Australia is always there. For me that will never go away until I put up the boots,” he said. “If an opportunity comes up, I’ll absolutely take it.”

Paris is unsure of his offseason plans, with a stint in the UK a possibility but dependent on his body. Right now, however, he is eyeing a well-deserved breather.

“I’ll be putting the feet up for a little bit,” he said. “I’m going to enjoy this one Sheffield Shield 2023-24 – ‘This means more to me than the other two’ Paris pushes his limits to help WA to a hat-trick as much as possible.”


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