Marnus Labuschagne, who went unsold in the IPL 2021 auction, expressed that, in hindsight, missing IPL feels to him like a blessing in disguise as it enabled him to take Queensland to victory in the Shield. Adding to that point, Labuschagne noted how, currently, the condition in India is not great.
Despite having minimal T20 experience, Marnus Labuschagne threw his hat in the ring for the IPL 2021 auction out of mere hope and, quite unsurprisingly, went unsold in the same. However, the snub was far from being a blow for the 26-year-old, who used the opportunity to play a bunch of Marsh Cup and Sheffield Shield games for Queensland. The freed schedule, in fact, enabled the right-hander to feature in the Sheffield Shield final versus New South Wales and the 26-year-old, in that encounter, struck an impeccable 192 to propel Queensland to the Shield title.
Now gearing up to represent Glamorgan, Labuschagne claimed that missing the IPL now feels to him like a blessing in disguise. The Queenslander expressed how missing the T20 extravaganza enabled him to be a part of a Shield-winning side and also noted that, in the current dire situation India finds itself in, it was perhaps safer for him to be away from the subcontinent.
"It certainly looks like it was a blessing in disguise," Labuschagne told reporters on Wednesday, of missing out on the IPL.
"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 is currently back home in Australia, but a plethora of his teammates, including the likes of Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and David Warner, are currently in a biosecure bubble in India, playing the IPL. With Australia having banned all passenger flights from India, there is now anxiety amongst the Aussie cricketers playing in the IPL as to how they could get back home safely. Labuschagne hoped for the IPL-bound Aussies to return home safely without facing any roadblocks.
"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."
As for himself, Labuschagne is currently now in the UK where he’ll be representing Glamorgan, the club which, two seasons ago, helped him transform into the monster he currently is. With no international games scheduled for Australia for the next one and a half months, Labuschagne will be representing Glamorgan in all three formats, with him expected to feature for the side as early as the team’s next fixture versus Kent this week. The Queenslander, though, is most excited about featuring in the T20 blast as, according to him, the tournament will provide him with a chance to impress the selectors ahead of the World T20 later this year.
"Being in Wales, things are opening up and that's a real positive. People are getting some freedom after the last 12 to 18 months. The potential to play 14 T20 Blast games – which is almost double what I've played in my career – is exciting because that's a part of my game that I haven't had much of an opportunity to develop," he said.
"It's a completely different format but the approach is still a thought-out one. I definitely want to play for Australia in all formats, but it's hard to make a case to play T20 cricket for Australia on the back of (16) career games."