The breakout batsman of the past 12 months for Australia will suit up for the KFC Big Bash League once again, agreeing to play for the Heat for his fifth season in the BBL.
Having forged an enviable reputation as a brilliant Test and 50-over batsman, the 26-year-old showed his enormous potential in the game’s shortest format in last season’s BBL and then again during Australia’s recent winter limited overs tour of England.
Playing in an intra-squad practice game facing a full-strength Australian bowling attack, Labuschagne peeled off a dazzling 100 from just 51 balls, prompting Australia coach Justin Langer to suggest his bright future as a potential three format player for the Aussies.
It’s an all-format role that Heat coach, Darren Lehmann, is firmly convinced lies ahead for the Queenslander.
“Marnus is a great example to any young cricketer about the importance of working smarter as well as working harder in order to improve his skills and get better, and his terrific progress as a T20 player vindicates that,’’ he said.
“He loves to tap into the experiences of his teammates and based on what we saw of him in last season’s BBL, T20 is the logical next format for him to spread his wings and succeed.”
“As well as Marnus’ exceptional batting, he is brilliant in the field and his leg-spin continues to impress. He’s also a great teammate and a leader and, from what we have seen lately in Premier Cricket, he could mount a case to be a handy seam-up option too. So the sky’s the limit for him in many ways.”
SEE MARNUS IN ACTION THIS SUMMER!
BECOME A MEMBER FROM JUST $35.
Lehmann said he hoped Labuschagne would have the opportunity to add to the 10 games for Brisbane Heat so far in his career.
“We broadly know his commitments with the Australian team this summer but we’re confident there will be a window for him to play a number of games for us at the back end of the tournament. I know our fans will relish the chance to watch him when he does get to don the teal for us this season and we know he’s keen to play for us in as many games as possible.”
“Those fans who recall our game against the Stars at the MCG when AB de Villiers hit that brilliant 71 would also no doubt remember that Marnus was at the other end in that partnership that got us to a win. He certainly wasn’t overshadowed by AB by any means and we know he just keeps on getting better and better,” he said.
Speaking from Adelaide where he is preparing with the Queensland Bulls for their second Marsh Sheffield Shield match of the season, Labuschagne said he was thrilled at the prospect of testing himself in the BBL once again this summer against some of the best T20 players in the world and taking his game to the next level.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I love a challenge, improving and being in the game all the time. That’s especially the case with playing in the BBL. T20 is a challenging format and I want to continue to get better when I get the chance.”
“Having had the chance to bat with AB de Villiers and play with and against a number of brilliant players was a wonderful learning opportunity last season.
“I’m excited to turn those experiences into performances when I get on the field to play and help the Heat win as many games as possible.”
“Hopefully there’s a chance to play a number of BBL games this summer. The Heat got close but ultimately we didn’t get there, so there is the marker for us as a team.”
The Heat have announced the following players so far: