Marcus North. Photo: supplied
PERTH Western Australia opener Marcus North has announced his retirement from first-class cricket despite enjoying one of his finest ever seasons.
North's career was at the crossroads last season when he was dropped to grade ranks due to poor form.
But the elegant left-hander bounced back to his best this season, plundering 886 runs at an average of 63.28 to lead the Warriors to their first Shield final in 15 years.
North was also named Shield player of the year and captain of the Shield team of the year.
The 34-year-old said physically he could play on for a few more years, but that mentally the time was right to retire.
"I really enjoyed arguably one of the best seasons in my career, but it's exhausting and I've got to the stage now where it's a big effort to maintain that over a season," North said.
"When the times get tough and you feel that you're not going to be able to drag yourself out of it, well I've always said that's about time to move on and that's how I feel.
"It's a huge bonus (to go out on my own terms) and I'm just so grateful to get another opportunity this year after last year and I'm thrilled I made the most of it.
"It would have been a fairytale finish to win a final as well, but to play in one is special to me as well.
"It reflects the cricket we played all year."
North is set to move to the UK with his family to pursue business interests and also play limited stints in county ranks.
He confirmed he was likely to honour the final year of his contract with Big Bash League side Sydney Sixers.