IPL 2021: Australia top-order batsman Marnus Labuschagne has expressed concern for his Australia teammates caught up in ongoing Covid-19 crisis in IPL and nationwide while admitting that being overlooked at the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) auction was a “blessing in disguise”.
Labuschagne had been keen to make his IPL debut and push his case for Australia selection ahead of the T20 World Cup later this year. Yet the 26-year-old admits his thoughts have also been on the escalating human disaster in India.
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On Wednesday, India surpassed 200,000 COVID deaths amid a dreadful surge and hospitals have been overwhelmed at a time when the IPL continues to be played.
“You obviously feel for them,” Labuschagne said. “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.”
Some 30 Australian players, coaches and commentators are currently involved in the IPL, with three players – Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson – already having opted to fly home before the federal government paused direct flights to Australia from India until May 15.
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IPL 2021: Marnus Labuschagne hits back after IPL snub, says “Not playing in IPL is a blessing in disguise”
“It certainly looks like it was a blessing in disguise,” Labuschagne said, 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.
“You look at the conditions in India now and it’s not looking great.”
Labuschagne showed glimpses of his potential in the shortest format in a late-season stint with the Brisbane Heat last summer that helped propel the club into the KFC BBL10 finals.
In six games after the Test series against India, Labuschagne scored 176 runs, striking at 123.07, and added 10 wickets with his leg-spin all while bringing his trademark high-voltage energy and enthusiasm to give the Heat an extra dimension.