Grossly underpaid Marnus eyeing millions
MARNUS Labuschagne has risen to become one of Australia's premier cricketers - and he could soon have the contract to prove it.
As far as Australia's international stars go, the 25-year-old is on a paltry wage of about $275,000, which is the minimum.
But Labuschagne is set to finish 2019 as Australia's highest Test run-scorer and has been picked in its ODI squad to tour India next month.
The tap on the shoulder to go multi-format, combined with his untouchable status in the Test team, could mean his wage balloons out by around 400 per cent.
At least another $1 million could be added to Labuschagne's contract now that his 50-over form for Queensland has also been recognised by national selectors, The Australian reported.
Fellow multi-format batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner are believed to have CA contracts worth more than $1.5 million, while the top-earner is Pat Cummins on around $2 million.
Labuschagne started 2018 as a fringe Test player who was given little hope of cracking into Australia's XI once Smith and Warner had returned from their ball-tampering suspensions. But a concussion to Smith during the second Ashes Test got the right-hander a chance, which he took with both hands.
Since stepping in for Smith at Lord's, Labuschagne has made 893 Test runs at 81.18 including three consecutive tons on home soil. He earlier dominated for county side Glamorgan, where he became the first batsman to score 1000 first-class runs in a season.
But his form hasn't been limited to the red and pink balls. He made another 364 runs at 60.66 in this year's domestic One-Day Cup.
Since the end of the 2018-19 season, Labuschagne has scored 2631 runs across all formats.
Former Australia captain Allan Border says Labuschagne has the skill-set to make it as a multi-format batsman for his country.
"I think he can rotate the strike, he can hit boundaries, he can play the big shot, but he's not just a power hitter who brutalises the thing like Warner or (Aaron) Finch," Border told foxsports.com.au.
"He's more in the Steve Smith mould in that he has all the shots, he can improvise, run well in between the wickets.
"He bowls more-than-handy leg spin, which is a good option, especially going to India. He's good in the field so he brings a lot to the table.
"But his batting has gone several rungs up the ladder for mine in the Test match arena and I think his confidence is there so it's a good opportunity to get him into the one-day set up."
He added: "I think that's a good selection in he's sort of the talk of the town, he's batting well, he's had good recent domestic one-day form so he deserves an opportunity."
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