Alcohol.Think Again Western Warriors coach Justin Langer has heaped praise on retiring skipper Adam Voges and wants to send him out as a winner.
WA takes on New South Wales in the final round of the Sheffield Shield at the WACA Ground from 10.30am on Thursday, with a slim chance of qualifying for the decider.
The Warriors must defeat NSW and claim 0.36 bonus points more than the Blues, while hoping Queensland and South Australia fail to win their respective fixtures to qualify.
Langer and Voges both admitted the stars needed to align, in a challenging scenario for the side.
The WA coach said it’d be great to send Voges out as a victor, heaping praise on the 37-year-old who is his player, former team-mate and friend.
"He’s a special person, I’ve known that since he started playing for WA,” Langer said.
"I wish he could’ve been captain for Western Australia for 10 years not five years.
"I think we would’ve won a few more Sheffield Shields perhaps.
"He’s a really special person. It’ll certainly make my job a lot harder without him here.”
Langer compared Voges to WA great Adam Gilchrist for his ability to be a popular and respected leader.
"He’s also got this incredible trait,” Langer said. "The only other person who can do it is Adam Gilchrist.
"He can be one of the boys, but also a strong leader. Not only do the players like him but they respect him hugely.”
Langer reflected on his playing days for WA alongside Voges when asked about his qualities as a person and player.
"One he’s really tough. Physically and mentally tough,” Langer said.
"He’s also very honest. That’s an important value, not just as a person, but in our organisation.
"I remember I was captain and he was a young player and he gave me some very honest feedback which not many people would give me.
"It actually had a big impact on me then as a captain and as a leader going forward.”
The WA coach said Voges would be sorely missed and would leave big shoes to fill.
But there’d be no better parting gift than a spot in the Shield final.
However, Langer was realistic about his side’s chances after losing their opening four games of the season, before winning four in a row, only to be halted last round by Victoria in Alice Springs.
"It’s a big game tomorrow. We’ll be penalised if we don’t make it, by the way we started the season,” Langer said.
"It was a tough game last week in Alice Springs. The boys fought pretty hard but we lost the first four Shield games.
"We’ve no one else to blame but ourselves. We’ll learn good lessons from it and keep chipping away to make sure we get a few more Sheffield Shields.”
Western Australia v New South Wales
Sheffield Shield – Round 10
16-19 March 2017, 10.30am WST
Broadcast: SportFM 91.3 | Live Streaming/Scores: Cricket.com.au | Follow @WACA_Cricket
Alcohol.Think Again Western Warriors squad: Adam Voges (c), Cameron Bancroft, Jason Behrendorff, Hilton Cartwright, Cameron Green, Josh Inglis, Michael Klinger, Simon Mackin, David Moody, Jhye Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Ashton Turner, Jonathan Wells
NSW Blues: Moises Henriques (c), Sean Abbott, Doug Bollinger, Trent Copeland, Harry Conway, Ed Cowan, Daniel Hughes, Nick Larkin, Nic Maddinson, Peter Nevill, Kurtis Patterson, Wil Somerville, Gurinder Sandhu