‘Hard for me not to believe in miracles’

‘It’s hard for me not to think, you know, as a man of faith, that there’s not someone else pulling the strings.’

Initially sidelined from Australia’s provisional World Cup squad, Marnus Labuschagne played a crucial role in Australia’s record sixth World Cup title and the middle-order batter emphasised that he never lost hope and belief in ‘miracles’.

The 29 year old was was included at the last moment, replacing the injured Ashton Agar.

‘It’s hard for me not to believe in miracles, and that there’s someone above putting the pieces together,’ Labuschagne said after his unbeaten 58 on Sunday.

Labuschagne scored 362 runs including three fifties from 10 innings at an average of 40.22. In the final, he was involved in a match-winning 192-run partnership with Travis Head that sealed Australia’s six-wicket win over India.

Labuschagne said he was not sure about his place in the playing eleven for the final.

‘Last night, 10 o’clock, the team hadn’t been announced yet… I was sitting on my bed. And I was actually thinking: “How can I add value then if I’m not playing? Maybe fielding?”‘ he told cricket.com.au.

‘Then at quarter past 10, the team got sent out and it just said ‘same team’. So that was a bit of a relief.’

A wrist injury to Steve Smith saw Labuschagne being added as a late inclusion for the five-match ODI series in South Africa, but was ignored for the first game in Bloemfontein.

‘I think I was unofficially dropped five times, but played every game,’ said Labuschagne, who has now played in 25 consecutive ODIs for Australia over the past 12 months.

‘I wasn’t in the squad in South Africa. Someone got concussed, I got an opportunity, got some runs, pushed my case, got in the squad, played 19 games since the first South Africa (ODI) in a row.

‘So it’s hard for me not to think, you know, as a man of faith, that there’s not someone else pulling the strings. I’m very thankful for the coaches and selectors for sticking by me… Luckily I got us over the line.’

  • World Cup 2023

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