Australian Cricketer Joe Burns to Play for Italy in Tribute to Late Brother Dominic

Australian batter Joe Burns has decided to play for Italy as a heartfelt tribute to his late brother Dominic, who passed away in February this year. Burns will honor his brother by donning jersey number 85, which Dominic wore while playing for the Northern Federals in sub-district cricket, symbolizing his birth year of 1985.

Qualified to represent Italy through his mother’s heritage, Burns will join the Italian squad for the 2026 Men’s T20 World Cup sub-regional qualifiers. The tournament, scheduled from June 9-16 in Rome, sees Italy grouped with France, Isle of Man, Luxembourg, and Turkey.

Burns expressed his emotions on Instagram: “This isn’t just a number and this isn’t just a jersey. This is for those 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.”

He added, “I’m incredibly proud to represent Italy on our journey to the 2026 World Cup. Although the fields of Rome are far from the Gabba, MCG, or our childhood front yard, this feels like coming home.”

Burns’ decision follows his exclusion from Queensland’s contract list for the 2024-25 season, despite scoring 446 runs at an average of 37.16 in the Sheffield Shield 2023-24 season. Additionally, his three-year deal with the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League expired, leaving him without a professional contract for the first time since 2010-11. Seeking better opportunities, Burns has embraced this new chapter with Italy, blending his professional aspirations with a poignant personal tribute.

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