According to analysts at CricViz, Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne is the luckiest batter in world cricket because as per their data, collected over the last decade-and-a-half, no other player has had a higher number of catches dropped off their bat.
In season 2 of Amazon Prime documentary ‘The Test,’ Labuschagne pulls back the curtain a little bit, admitting that a small sticker of a black eagle on his bat might be behind all his luck. And even his teammates seem to agree.
“One of the biggest things in sport is your mind, and once your mind goes down a path, you can’t stop it, it just goes down that path,” Labuschagne said. “I don’t think stickers matter – until you start thinking it matters,” he added.
Labuschagne is a devout Christian and the eagle reminds him of his favourite passage from the Bible, Isaiah 40:31: “For those who hope in the Lord, He shall renew their strength. They shall soar on wings like eagles; they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not be faint.”
“Everyone knows that cricket’s a major part of my life but the value of me as a person isn’t in cricket, it’s in my faith,” Labuschagne said.
His teammates like David Warner and Usman Khawaja have often cheekily referred to the bird as a crow and agree that it might be the reason for Labuschagne’s good fortune in the middle.
Between July 2019 and December 2022, Labuschagne was dropped 16 times and caught on 20 occasions, a conversion rate of 55.5 per cent, according to Fox Sports.
In last summer’s Adelaide Ashes Test, Labuschagne was dropped thrice and then went on to score 103. Later in the match, he was caught behind by Jos Buttler and was slowly trudging his way off the pitch when the decision was overturned because the bowler Ollie Robinson had overstepped.
“I’m honestly going to get that bird tattooed on my head,” teammate Nathan Lyon said.
Recently, Fox Cricket submitted that Labuschagne had seven “expected dismissals” during his eight-hour double century against West Indies in Perth where he was saved by luck, a cricket.au article noted.