‘Taped-up tennis ball with a dog thrower’: Aussie star Marnus Labuschagne gets some practice in lockdown

Australian middle order batsman Marnus Labuschagne has managed to stay busy and has devised an innovative way of getting some batting practice as well with some backyard cricket.
Marnus Labuschagne plays backyard cricket with his dog for company.(Instagram/Brisbane Heat)
Marnus Labuschagne plays backyard cricket with his dog for company.(Instagram/Brisbane Heat)
Updated on Apr 09, 2020 02:16 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByHT Correspondent

With all sporting activities on hold all around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, sportspersons are facing a tough challenge of staying fit during these days of lockdown. Cricketers face the challenge too of both staying fit as well as squeezing in some practice time.

Australian middle order batsman Marnus Labuschagne though has managed to stay busy and devised an innovative way of getting some batting practice as well with some backyard cricket. He does not have the Australian pacers to bowl him in the nets or the coaching staff to give him throwdowns, but Labuschagne is still getting to knock a few balls, courtesy a mate who is currently in isolation with him at his house.

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“I’m lucky enough that I’ve actually got one of my best mates living with me at the moment. He’s in isolation with me. So me and him are getting a few throw downs, and doing a bit of training,” Labuschagne told Melbourne’s SEN Radio, according to a report in cricket.com.au.

In a video posted on Instagram by Big Bash League team Brisbane Heat, Labuschagne can be taking throwdowns in his backyard. The cricketer’s dog can also be seen participating in the drill. 

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“That’s about as much cricket as I’m getting … a taped-up tennis ball in the backyard with a dog thrower.

“I’m playing a little bit of tennis, where it’s allowed with the isolation rules to get my fitness in.

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“And I’m doing gym, so there’s a lot of stuff to stay on top of,” Labuschagne was quoted as saying.

The batsman made his mark in international cricket during the Ashes series in England. He came in to bat under difficult circumstances as a concussion substitute for Steve Smith. He played a gutsy hand and has since not looked back. After making a statement in Test cricket, Labuschagne was handed his ODI debut earlier this year when the Australian team visited India for a three-match ODI series.

“The game had moved so quick for me in the last 18 months I hadn’t really had time to sit back and go ‘this is what I’ve achieved, this is what I’ve been able to do

“This time now makes you sit down and reflect on what’s happened and how it’s all unfolded,” the batsman said.

He further added that he is trying to stay positive during this phase as no one knows when all of this will be over.

“You try to speak to people, you try and stay positive, and think ‘oh well, we’re going to be back playing soon. And the problem is no-one really knows how this is unfolding.

“For me, it’s just about taking it week by week and day by day, just trying to improve myself in other areas of life that I’ve probably neglected for the last couple of months. So that’s my challenge,” he said.

Labuschagne further added that the most important thing right now is to try and start the sport again and make it available on television for the fans.

“But I really hope that it all turns quickly and that we get on top of this virus and get back playing and see not just cricket, but live sport.

“I don’t know how long away we are from getting crowds back in grounds, but I think our first objective is to get sport back on television,” he concluded.

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Monday, December 06, 2021