Mitch Marsh has put county above cash as he bids to be Australia's game-breaker in the 2019 Ashes, forgoing the most lucrative Indian Premier League auction yet.
The allrounder will this year have a season with English county Surrey, working under Australia's former batting coach Michael Di Venuto.
The county circuit was formerly a rite of passage for Australian cricketers — including Darren Lehmann and Justin Langer, whose counsel Marsh sought before making his decision.
It is no longer anywhere near as well-trodden a path because of a packed international schedule and the advent of the lucrative Twenty20 tournament in India.
Marsh was signed by IPL franchise Pune for $1 million in 2016.
He could have expected a significant pay rise in the January 27-28 auction. He has improved as a player, while a billion-dollar IPL broadcast rights deal has resulted in a salary cap increase of 20 per cent.
"That's the lure of the IPL, the money and playing in India, but I made my decision based on cricket," Marsh told reporters in Sydney.
"It was a fairly big decision from a money point of view.
"We've got a lot of cricket coming up in England over the next few years and I want to give myself the best opportunity (to perform in 2019) … and get used to the conditions."
Steve Smith noted in a recently-released biography that he wouldn't play a full county season while in his prime, a view shared by most teammates.
"It's something I'd love to do when my international career is winding down," Smith wrote.
Marsh was part of Australia's squad that failed to retain the urn in 2015, primarily because of their batsmen's inability to combat sideways movement.
The 26-year-old, who has looked a far more mature batsman since earning a Test recall in Perth, is confident he can adapt to English conditions under the guidance of Di Venuto.
"He was our batting coach for three years. I've got a really close relationship with him," Marsh said.
"Playing in their conditions for a whole summer, I'll get flat wickets and I'll get wickets that seam and swing.
"I've worked extremely hard over the last nine months to make sure I have a game that can adapt to all conditions.
"I realise I've only done that now in two Test innings and have a long way to go but I've certainly gained a lot of confidence from the last few weeks."
Marsh backed up his maiden Test ton in Perth with another impressive partnership with Smith at the MCG, where he scored 29 from 166 deliveries to ensure the hosts salvaged a draw.
The post Mitchell Marsh chooses county over IPL riches, with eye on next Ashes series appeared first on News Wire Now.