Marnus Labuschagne: From Channel Nine’s ‘hot spot guy’ to Ashes hopeful
Peter Siddle (middle) looks on as Marnus Labuschagne receives his first Test cap in 2018. © AFP

From operating the hot spot camera for Channel Nine during a Test match at the Gabba in 2010, to being named in Australia‘s Ashes squad in 2019, Marnus Labuschagne has come a long way.

The South Africa-born Queensland allrounder, who has played five Tests, was last week announced in Australia’s 17-man squad for the Ashes series with England, and hopes to be on the team sheet for the first Test on August 1.

Speaking to reporters at Edgbaston on Monday, Labuschagne reflected on his stint with Channel Nine during the opening Test of the 2010-11 Ashes in Australia.

(READ: Can Australia break 18-year winless streak at Edgbaston?)

“I was working for Channel Nine as the hot spot guy – I was moving the hot spot camera when Sidds (current Ashes team-mate Peter Siddle) got his hat-trick,” he said. “I was up on the second level, moving the camera from side to side, and I was there for the hat-trick which was pretty cool.

“I was literally a ring-in, I knew some guy and I got paid to watch the game. So it was a win for me back then, I was getting paid like $90 a day to move the camera around.”

(READ: Sam Trimble, Queensland legend, dies aged 84)

In 2005, at the age of 11, having recently moved with his family from South Africa to Australia, Labuschagne watched his first Ashes match on TV. That was the epic summer in which Michael Vaughan’s team regained the Ashes urn 2-1, and it had a deep impression on young Labuschagne who at the time was learning to speak English.

marnus labuschagne catch 2014
Labuschange held a stunning catch at short leg as substitute fielder in 2014-15. © AFP

Therein, he decided to pursue a cricket in career and being given the chance to operate the hot-spot camera during an Ashes Test was a breakout moment for him. A few years later, having represented Queensland, Labuschagne was chosen as a fielding substitute during the 2014-15 home Test series between Australia and India at the Gabba after Mitchell Marsh and Chris Rogers were forced to leave the field with injuries.

Substituting for Rogers, Labuschagne held a sensational diving catch at short leg – a decision which, ironically, needed hot-spot to be confirmed as a clean take.

Five years later, he is part of an Australia Ashes squad and goes into his maiden series against Australia as the top run-getter in Division Two of the ongoing County Championship for Glamorgan (1114 at 65.52, with five centuries and five fifties).