Redlands is in the midst of a cricket golden era, with hometown hero Marnus Labuschagne and several other bayside-based players continuing to impress at the state and international level after rising through the city’s junior systems.
In another successful month for our local stars, Labuschagne notched an unbeaten half century to help Australia clinch its sixth world cup – and first since 2015 – while Redland wicketkeeper-batsman Jimmy Peirson has earned a place in the Prime Minister’s XI squad for an upcoming clash against Pakistan.
Several other Redlands Tigers players will also be in action this summer, with Sam Heazlett and James Bazley among the local talent set to line up for Big Bash League teams when the competition begins next week.
South African-born Labuschagne played his junior cricket in Redlands and now ranks among the world’s best Test batsman, having scored 11 hundreds – including two against arch-rivals England – since debuting against Pakistan in 2018.
He was left out of Australia’s provisional squad for the world cup but earned a late call up and made the most of the opportunity, with his unbeaten half-century in the final proving crucial as Australia tracked down India’s total of 240 to clinch the title.
Redlands Tigers president Sean Lloyd said Labuschagne was the type of player who seized an opportunity with both hands.
“Marnus went into the series not knowing if he was even going to be picked for the team,” he said.
“The fact that he got through to the grand final shows the temperament of the bloke, where he is not complacent with his own cricket.”
Lloyd said he was immensely proud to watch Labuschagne in the Australian colours, having seen his rise through the Redlands Tigers pathway as a young player.
“He had proven himself in red ball cricket and now is doing the same with the white ball,” he said.
“We are so grateful that Marnus has a very strong home grounding with the Redlands Tigers and still continues to train here.”
Lloyd said Labuschagne’s success on the international stage was rubbing off on young talent coming through the club.
“Kids will now want to go to a different level when they know that level of cricket can be achieved via the pathways we continue to support at Redlands Tigers,” he said.
“Hopefully before the Australian summer of cricket kicks off, there will be an opportunity for him to say hello to our local kids again.”
Former Redlands Tigers head coach Blair Copeland said he had been feeding cricket balls to Marnus since the cricketer was only 14 years old.
“He was always bound to achieve really well,” he said. “The resilience that he displays and has always displayed is exceptional.”
Copeland said it was great as a coach to watch Labuschagne play at a world cup.
“There is no one that works harder on their game than himself,” he said.
“His desire to learn more and his work ethic is what makes him an exceptional world class player.”
He said that despite numerous individuals supporting Marnus on his journey, he believed Marnus also made significant contributions in aiding others.
“It looks like I coached him, but I believe it was a mutual thing,” Copeland said.
“It is really nice to watch him go from a young kid to a bloke who is now at the top of his trade.”