HomeCricketNewsJoe Burns to play for Italy in tribute to late brother

Joe Burns to play for Italy in tribute to late brother

Former Australian opening batter Joe Burns has confirmed that he will be representing Italy in a bid to help the Europeans qualify for the 2026 T20 World Cup as a tribute to his late brother.

Burns, who lost his brother Dominic in February this year, represented Australia in 23 Tests and 6 ODIs between 2014 and 2020 scoring a combined 1588 runs with four centuries and eight half-centuries.

The 34-year-old has been on the books of Queensland state since 2011 but has not been offered a contract for the 2024-25 domestic season in Australia.

Burns made an official announcement via his official Instagram handle, with a picture of a blue Italy shirt with the number 85 – the year of his brother’s birth and the same number his sibling wore in local Australian cricket.

“This isn’t just a number and this isn’t just a jersey,” Burns wrote on his Instagram page while announcing his decision to switch to Italy.

“This is for the people who I know will be looking down proudly from above. In February of this year my brother sadly passed away. 85 was his number in the last team he played (and his birth year) for the mighty Northern Federals in sub-districts.

“The days, weeks and months since my brother’s death have been the toughest I could ever imagine. I’m not too proud to admit that it’s been a daily battle that I often lose. While a part of my soul feels like it will always be missing, I know this shirt will carry on his spirit and give me strength. It’s the hours playing as kids and the connection with him that taught me to love this game.

“I often reflect on the bravery and commitment it must have taken my Grandparents when they left Italy to start a new life in Australia. They found a way to make it work through adversity and this has always given me solace through life’s lessons. I’m so proud to represent Italy on our path to the 2026 World Cup.”

“The fields of Rome may be a long way from the Gabba, MCG or our front yard growing up, but I feel like I’m coming home.”


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