Marnus Labuschagne has got a ‘great attitude and work ethic’, says Steve Waugh
Labuschagne will face the country of his birth for the first time next Saturday in the opening ODI between the Proteas and Australia at Boland Park in Paarl.
Waugh, speaking to Independent Media at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin, said he made a mistake with Labuschagne’s first name on his ODI debut against India in Mumbai last month.
“Well, I pronounced his name wrong when I presented his one-day cap. So, I’m not the best person to ask (to pronounce his name). I called him Marcus! It’s funny because I was with Sachin Tendulkar the previous night in India, and they were doing a photo with a 100-year-old Indian cricketer, and his minder was a guy called Marcus,” the 54-year-old said.
“So I kept calling him ‘Marcus, Marcus’! Next day, I call Marnus, Marcus - it was in my head. ‘Labus-kagne’ is the Afrikaans pronunciation, and he says that, but it’s too hard for Australians, so it goes to Labu-shane! He’s got a great attitude, and a great work ethic. And he wants to be the best. He’s learning from Steve Smith, so what a mentor.
“There’s no doubt that he will have some hiccups - he’s got through a bit of a honeymoon phase right now. But he’s a very smart cricketer, and he’s as hard a worker as I’ve ever seen. And he loves training, so he’s got a lot of positives. But like every cricketer, he will have some downtime, and he will have to call on resilience and his skills to get through that. But right now, he’s been outstanding.”@AshfakMohamed