Million-dollar Marn knocks back IPL riches
Marnus Labuschagne has knocked back a shot at the IPL millions to concentrate on being a Test cricketer and is set to focus on sponsorship dollars which suit his clean living lifestyle.
The new pin-up boy of Australian cricket is likely to be blooded in the one-day international side next month and is staring down the barrel of his next central contract being worth more than one million dollars.
But Labuschagne won't be cashing in on his new found stardom by immediately chasing the Twenty20 caravan around the globe and is prioritising a future as a long-form player and 50-over player and will honour an existing English county deal with Glamorgan instead.
He is not one of the 53 Australians who have nominated for this year's lucrative IPL draft.
The 25-year-old will be equally selective when it comes to negotiating with the horde of major brands expected to come knocking in the wake of his record-breaking run of form with the bat.
In a similar move to former 'Weetbix kid' Brett Lee, it's understood Labuschagne's management will focus on quintessential Australian brands which best represent his wholesome personality.
"Marnus stands for hard work, for integrity, enthusiasm, courage, that's what we want his brand to reflect," Labuschagne's manager Dean Kino said.
"He is authentic and honest.
"I'm really conscious of associating with brands that are aligned to him as a person."
Labuschagne has a bat sponsorship with Kookaburra that expires at the end of the summer and also has a deal with foot manufacturer, Nike.
Suddenly the Queenslander has become one of the most marketable figures in the game, with his trademark bubble gum blowing at the crease dominating back pages in the lead up to the Perth Test where he has made his third hundred in consecutive Tests.
Labuschagne's one-day form with Queensland earlier in the summer as well as his efficiency at Test level will make him almost impossible to leave out of the Australian ODI squad to tour India in January.
For most players of Labuschagne's ability, the natural next step would be to explore the massive money available in the IPL - but Australia's Steve Smith clone has no interest at this stage.
Labuschagne is contracted to play in England and he would rather forgo a bigger pay cheque to continue fostering his skills in the longer forms of the game.
While the IPL might be something that interests him in the future, at heart, Labuschagne is a pure and old fashioned cricketer cut from the same cloth as his coach, Justin Langer.
Labuschagne was averaging just 33 when selectors first took a punt on him in the UAE in October last year, and the reason he is in the position he is in now is due to his insatiable work ethic.
In 2019, he has played more first-class cricket than anyone on the planet, and as a reward he is the top run-scorer in Test match cricket.
Rather than take the attitude that the groundwork is now done, Labuschagne is taking the opposite mindset and is doubling down on his meticulous preparation, adamant that batting in England will help continue to make him as a Test cricketer.