Marnus Labuschagne is now well known as one of the most colourful characters in Australian cricket, but new revelations in the new season of Amazon documentary series The Test have added another chapter in his storied love affair with the humble toasted sandwich.
Labuschagne’s relationship with the toastie dates back to his early days at grade club Redlands, saying in a 2020 interview with then-Australian-captain Tim Paine that the club were “renowned for their toastie”.
“You go to Adelaide Oval, you think plum chicken, you come to Redlands, you think toastie.”
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But it’s during the first episode of season two of The Test when Labuschagne’s toastie ritual leaves fans up in arms.
Labuschagne walks through his pre-net routine of putting together his ham-and-cheese toastie, making it piping hot and putting it on a plate.
But it’s his next step that defies belief. The star batsmen walks over to the refrigerator and puts the toastie in for later consumption..
“Not many people do this, but I like a toastie that’s actually cold,” he says.
“Get that cheese to harden up, go for a hit (in the nets), come back, boom, toastie is ready to go.”
The incident disturbed many viewers around the world, with some taking to social media to share their concerns.
Sports editor Russell Bennett wrote: “Sure, there’s drama aplenty with JL (Langer) and Tim Paine, but without a shadow of a doubt the most extraordinary scene of the entire second season of #TheTest is Marnus putting a piping hot ham toastie in the fridge in episode one.
“The bloke is not of this planet.”
Music writer Bernard Zuel was also struggling to comprehend the act, writing: “Marnus Labuschagne has some quirks, more than many players probably, but each to their own etc. “However, cooking a cheese toastie and then putting it in the fridge before eating it is … weird.”
Meanwhile, popular cricket Twitter account TheCricketMen was in complete uproar with a scathing take on the chilled toastie.
“I love Marnus Labuschagne but the fact he butchers a toastie so badly is a travesty and a crime against humanity,” the account wrote.
It’s not the first time Labuschagne’s culinary habits have come to light as a member of the Australian setup, with the Queenslander the prime suspect when coach Justin Langer told The Sydney Morning Herald he had to ban a player from snacking on a toastie in the now infamous Gabba loss to India.
“You’re walking on against India, we’re trying to win a Test match and one of our players walks on with a toasted sandwich in his hand,” Langer said.
“How do you reckon it looks, mate?”
Langer later revealed on the Cricket Et Cetera podcast Labuschagne was in fact the offending player.
“Now I’m the grumpiest prick in the world because I told Marnus not to take a toasted ham and cheese sandwich after his 40-minute lunch break,” Langer said.
The Gabba incident didn’t do much to combat the idea that cricket is a leisurely pastime rather than an intense sport of reactions and athleticism, taking minds back to a viral 2013 moment when Nic Maddinson brought out a toastie between balls during a Ryobi Cup game against South Australia.
“That’s why cricket is the best ever – can’t do that at a ball-up”, posted then-South Australian cricketer Theo Doropoulos on Twitter.