Joe Burns To Play For Italy: Ex-Australia Cricketer's Move A Tribute To Late Brother

Burns informed about his decision on social media where he also revealed the news of the passing away of his brother

Joe Burns last played international cricket in December 2020. Photo: X/@ICC

Former Australia cricketer Joe Burns will be playing for Italy as a tribute to his late brother who represented the European nation. (Cricket News)

Burns informed about his decision on social media where he also revealed the news of the passing away of his brother.

Burns post included an Italian cricket team jersey with 85, the number his sibling wore, on the back of it.

"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," Burns wrote in his Instagram post.

"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," he added.

"It's the hours playing as kids and connection with him that taught me to love this game."

Burns will also don the 85 jersey as he embarks on a new journey in Europe.

Italy are currently vying for a place in the 2026 Men's T20 World Cup and will play the sub regional qualifiers from June 9-16 in Rome in their path to the tournament. Burns who has represented Australia in 23 Tests will be a part of Italy's team for the assignment.

"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," he wrote.

"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, Grazzie," Burns summed up in an emotional post.

Burns' last international match, his 23rd Test, was against India in December 2020. He hit four centuries in his Test career and averaged 37.

The right-hander also played six ODIs for Australia.