Emerging star Labuschagne has a handle on the Bible

Last year’s International Cricket Council’s Emerging Player of the Year isn’t letting the title go to his head, writes Ben Hampshire.

Marnus Labuschagne won’t allow the accolade boost his ego because he firmly believes his talent is thanks to God.

And the Bible is such a central part of his life, he has an eagle engraved at the base of his bat to represent his favourite Bible verse from Isaiah 40:31.

He said: “The Bible says your actions should be your words. As a Christian, you need to know the gospel. You need to know what you believe. And it’s good to be challenged. It makes you think about your faith deeper.”

South African born Labuschagne rocketed to stardom in 2019 by becoming the leading Test match run scorer. He was then crowned Emerging Player of the Year in 2020.

In his first 18 Tests, Labuschagne – who is also playing county cricket with Glamorgan – amassed 1,885 runs at an average of 60.80.
He added: “As a Christian you’re getting put under fire all the time: different opinions, different people talking. But once you have a relationship with people, conversations flow.

“It definitely puts more perspective on your life. International cricket – and let’s be honest, the game of cricket – is based on failure.
“Most players fail more than they succeed. It’s tough. And it definitely helps when you have your faith.


“Sometimes it gives you clarity on the reason you’re playing. It gives you more perspective on what truly matters.” Having grown up in a Christian family, Labuschagne has noticed a significant shift in perspective towards faith in recent years, making it difficult to speak out.

He said: “Twenty or 30 years ago, the culture in Australia and England was built around the Christian faith.

“Obviously in our day and age, that’s changing. That’s one of the toughest things. There’s so many questions being asked now.”

Australian cricket coach Justin Langer is one fellow Christian he is able to discuss his faith with and also someone who has a wealth of Ashes experience, something Labuschagne is excited to discover more of with the 2021 version of the historic battle coming up.

He added: “Playing the Ashes against England: there really is no bigger occasion.

“Right now, I couldn’t feel better about my game. But whatever happens, happens. All I can do is put in the work, score my runs and the rest sits in the hands of God.”

When it comes to praying before a match though, the result is not at the forefront of his mind.

He said: “When I pray, I don’t pray to win, just that I could perform at my best, and that all the glory will go to God, for whatever happens in the day, win or lose.”

From New Life Newspaper issue 321.

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