Joseph Anthony Burns, born on September 6, 1989, is a prominent Australian cricketer who has made a name for himself on both the domestic and international cricket scenes. With a compelling story of dedication and hard work, Burns is a well-recognized figure who plays for the Australia national cricket team, the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League, and represents Queensland in Australian domestic cricket. Let’s take a closer look at his remarkable journey through the world of cricket.
Early Life and Beginnings
Joseph Burns, or simply Joe Burns, was born into a family where both parents were school teachers. His early life was marked by a passion for cricket, though he wasn’t hailed as a prodigy during his childhood. Rather, he started his cricketing journey like many others, with a love for the game and a desire to excel.
Burns’ story is a testament to the fact that sometimes, the most exceptional journeys begin with ordinary ambitions. He went on to complete his university education, considering a future in the business world. Little did he know that his cricketing talent would soon catapult him into the professional cricket arena. As he modestly puts it, “I didn’t play cricket with the ambition of playing professionally … but you make a few runs, go up the grades, and it all happened so quickly from there.”
Growing up in Brisbane’s northern suburbs, Burns attended Nudgee College, where he had the opportunity to nurture his cricketing skills and lay the foundation for his future in the sport.
Domestic and T20 Career
Burns made a spectacular entry into Sheffield Shield cricket during his debut against South Australia in February 2011. He showcased his potential by scoring a remarkable 140, signaling his arrival on the domestic cricket stage.
In the following seasons, Burns continued to impress. In the 2011–12 Sheffield Shield season, he emerged as the fifth-highest run-scorer, accumulating 781 runs. This was followed by another strong season in the 2012–13 Sheffield Shield, where he scored 587 runs.
His consistent performances led to a call-up for Australia A to face the touring party from England. During this tour, Burns displayed his batting prowess by scoring a splendid 114 in a one-day game.
Joe Burns’ impact extended to the T20 format as well. He was the top scorer for the Brisbane Heat in their victory over the Perth Scorchers in the final of the 2012–13 Big Bash League season.
In December 2014, Burns received the call to represent Australia in the Boxing Day Test against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. He made his debut at number 6, showing promise with a score of 13 runs before being caught behind off Umesh Yadav.
Burns quickly adapted to the international arena and managed to score two half-centuries in his second Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. However, his defining moment came in November 2015 when he made his first Test century against New Zealand at the Gabba. His century was remarkable, featuring two consecutive sixes off the bowling of off-spinner Mark Craig.
The journey wasn’t without its ups and downs. While Burns enjoyed success at home and away Test series against the West Indies and New Zealand in 2015–16, he faced challenges in Sri Lanka in the latter half of 2016. This period of lean scores resulted in his exclusion from the team after the Hobart Test against South Africa in November 2016.
Notable Recalls and Comebacks
Burns’ cricketing journey saw him facing various challenges and making inspiring comebacks. His recall in March 2018 to the Test side was an urgent response to the suspensions of Steve Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft due to a ball-tampering incident during the third Test of the Australian 2018 Tour of South Africa.
In February 2019, Burns was once again called upon to represent Australia in the two-match series against Sri Lanka. This time, he opened the batting and displayed his exceptional slip fielding skills, taking three catches. In the second match, held in Canberra, Burns achieved a milestone by scoring his fourth Test century, an impressive 180 in the first innings.
Despite facing setbacks, Burns remained resilient. In June 2019, he was diagnosed with a fatigue disorder stemming from a viral infection he suffered in October 2018. After recovering, he was recalled for the home Test series against Pakistan in November 2019, where he scored 97 in Australia’s only innings.
Burns’ contributions extended to the three-Test home series against New Zealand in December 2019 and January 2020. His journey through the world of cricket showcased his ability to adapt and bounce back, delivering memorable performances. Cricket Australia recognized his contributions by awarding him a central contract ahead of the 2020–21 season.
Joe Burns’ cricketing career is a testament to hard work, perseverance, and the resilience to overcome challenges. His journey from being an aspiring cricketer to a recognized international player is an inspiration to all aspiring athletes who dream of representing their country on the cricket field.