Ashes batsman puts faith in soaring like an eagle

02 August 2019

PA

Marnus Labuschagne bats during a practice match at Southampton last week

Marnus Labuschagne bats during a practice match at Southampton last week

MARNUS Labuschagne, one of the Australian batsmen in the squad for the Ashes, is a committed Christian, who has an eagle sticker on his bat as a nod to his favourite Bible passage: Isaiah 40.31.

He told The Independent last week: “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. . .

“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. 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.”

Labuschagne was born in Durban, South Africa, before moving to Queensland, Australia, with his family aged ten. He said that cricket and Christianity were the cornerstones of his life from before he can remembered.

He said that faith “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,” he explained.

The 25 year-old did not feature in Australia’s Cricket World Cup squad, instead playing for Glamorgan in the County Championship. He joined the Ashes squad as the competition’s leading runscorer with 1,114 runs.

Australia’s coach, Justin Langer, is also a committed Christian.

The five-Test series gets under way at Edgbaston today, and will end in mid-September. England come into the series as World Cup champions.

England need to win the series to take back the Ashes, which Australia won in their own country in 2017-18. Australia have lost every Ashes series in England since 2001.

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