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Bushrangers sign West Australian batsman

The Commonwealth Bank Bushrangers have signed West Australian Marcus Harris on a long-term deal.

Victoria, who will be attempting to win three consecutive Sheffield Shields for the first time in its history, will be boosted by the acquisition of the 23-year-old top order batsman.

Since debuting for Western Australia in 2011 as an 18-year-old, when he entered the record books in just his third first-class match as the youngest Australian to score a first-class 150, Harris has amassed 2138 runs in 42 matches for Western Australia, including four centuries and six fifties.

The Sheffield Shield Final is the pinnacle of first-class cricket in Australia and under that pressure Harris flourished, producing his best game for the Warriors in the 2014-15 tournament decider against the Bushrangers where he struck 81 and 158* and was duly named Player of the Final.

“I’m really excited about the new challenge that will present itself in moving to Victoria,” Harris said.

“This was one of the toughest decisions I’ve made as I really loved my time at WA.

“I’ve forged some life-long friendships and I’ll certainly miss my teammates.

“I’d like to thank all the coaching staff, especially Justin Langer and Geoff Marsh, who had a significant part in preparing me for professional sport and have also really helped shape me as an individual.

“I feel confident that this move can help me take the next step in my cricketing career.”

Victorian Chairman of Selectors Andrew Lynch said Harris would add to an exciting young batting lineup led by Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis and Travis Dean.

“Harris is a young player who has proven himself at first-class level,” Lynch said.

“We’ve observed his recent performances and progress in past seasons, especially since his performance against us in the Shield Final, and he had a strong back half of the season this year as well.

“We are looking forward to Marcus joining our group of talented young batsmen.”

Harris is also an accomplished short-form player, having been Cricket Australia XI’s highest run scorer in last year’s Matador BBQs One-Day Cup.

Victoria’s full contract list for the 2016-17 season will be announced in the coming weeks.