Joe Burns to Represent Italy in T20 World Cup To Honour Late Brother

Tue May 28 2024
icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp

SYDNEY, Australia: Former Australian Test opener Joe Burns announced on Tuesday his decision to represent Italy in their quest to qualify for the 2026 T20 World Cup, paying tribute to his late brother in the process.

Burns, 34, who has Italian heritage, will don the number 85 jersey for his new team, symbolizing the year of his brother’s birth and the same number his sibling wore in local Australian cricket.

Having played 23 Tests for Australia between 2014 and 2020, Burns shared his heartfelt sentiments on Instagram, emphasizing that his decision goes beyond just cricket.

In his post, accompanied by a picture of an Italian team jersey with the number 85, Burns expressed that the gesture is a tribute to his brother, who passed away in February.

“This isn’t just a number and this isn’t just a jersey,” Burns wrote, reflecting on the significance of his choice. “This is for the people who I know will be looking down proudly from above.” Amidst his grief, Burns finds solace in the belief that representing Italy will honor his brother’s memory and provide him with strength.

Expressing his emotions, Burns acknowledged the pain of his loss, stating, “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.” As he prepares to embark on this new chapter, Burns looks forward to wearing the Italian colors and competing in the sub-regional qualifiers en route to the 2026 World Cup.

Reflecting on his journey, Burns highlighted the contrast between the iconic cricket grounds of Australia and the fields of Rome. However, he expressed a sense of belonging and gratitude, concluding, “But I feel like I’m coming home. Grazie.”

icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp