Australia batsman Marnus Labuschagne is relishing the opportunity to return to the country of his birth later this month.
The men from Down Under tour South Africa for three T20Is and as many ODIs beginning on 21 February.
SA homecoming for Marnus Labuschagne
In the touring party is the 25-year-old, who has taken the cricket world by storm since becoming a regular in the Test setup.
Born in Klerksdorp, Labuschagne still carving his way in white-ball cricket, and is on track to make his T20I debut.
The Queensland batsman moved to Australia as a ten-year-old, and is relishing the opportunity too play in front of some of his family members.
“It’s an exciting tour, more for my family who have not had the opportunity to see me play – they can finally see me go about it,” Labuschagne says, as quoted on the Sydney Morning Herald.
“It will be exciting to get back. There’s a fair few [relatives], so it’s really nice to get back there and see them. I’m not sure how many will be at games, but they’ll go to the games close to them.”
Soft spot for South Africa
The bulk of Labuschagne’s cricket education happened in Australia but, although he maintains his loyalties lie with his adopted country, he still maintains a soft spot of South Africa.
“My family over there, it’s hard to say,” Labuschagne says.
“I haven’t spoken to them about that. I assume they have a soft spot for Australia, but South Africa’s their home country.
“I think they will be supporters of me and wanting me to do well. I don’t really know what the ideal result is for them.
“Where there is an opportunity it will be nice to catch up with everyone. Not too much apart from that. It’s business as usual, you try and win games of cricket. It’s getting back to work, really.”
The player also revealed that some of his childhood heroes had donned Proteas colours, most notably former all-rounder Jacques Kallis, who is now the batting consultant for South Africa.
“Absolutely, it’s where I grew up,” Labuschagne says.
“To play against the team I grew up watching at a young age, it’s exciting.”
Labuschagne has four Test centuries and eight 50s in 14 matches for Australia, and has played three ODIs, making a single half-century.
The South African