Marnus Labuschagne is considered to be one of the best current players in the Test arena and he is making waves in the shorter formats of cricket as well. After a decently nice BBL 2020-21 season, many had hoped that he would find a team in the IPL 2021 auction.
However, Marnus was ignored in the IPL 2021 auction and while he expressed disappointment at being not able to play the best and most popular T20 league in the world, he also called it a “blessing in disguise”, after many of his Australian teammates are caught up in India’s COVID-19 crisis.
Four of the overseas players, including three Australians in Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, and Andrew Tye have opted out of the ongoing IPL 2021 voluntarily citing the rising COVID-19 cases in India and bio-bubble fatigue as reasons. Some 30 Australian players, coaches, and commentators are currently involved in the IPL.
It Certainly Looks Like It Was A Blessing In Disguise: Marnus Labuschagne
26-year-old Marnus’ thoughts have also been on the escalating human disaster in India, as the fact is that many of his friends and teammates are involved in the tournament. On Tuesday, India surpassed 200,000 Covid deaths amid a frightening surge and hospitals have been overwhelmed at a time when the IPL – which also features a host of England players – continues to be played.
“You obviously feel for them. But I haven’t spoken to too many guys that are feeling unsafe. It’s more about getting back into Australia and what does that look like. I just hope that they stay safe and get back to Australia safely whenever they do,” Marnus said.
Labuschagne had been keen to make his IPL debut this year and push his case for Australia selection ahead of the T20 World Cup later this year by performing in India, which is scheduled to host the tournament later in the year.
“It certainly looks like it was a blessing in disguise. I would love to have played in the IPL, it’s a great tournament. But there’s always two sides to the coin. If I was in the IPL I would have been away and to win a Shield is something that doesn’t come around often. Secondly, you look at the conditions in India now and it’s not looking great,” Labuschagne said of missing out on the IPL.
Labuschagne’s 1,885 runs in 18 Tests, which have brought five hundreds and a best of 215, have come at an average of 60.80 – currently the sixth highest in the history of Test cricket.
He has also played 13 ODIs, making 473 runs with one century and 3 half-centuries to his name. He is yet to make his T20I debut for Australia but has played 16 T20 matches.