Usain Bolt ready to have a bash at Aussie cricket
Usain Bolt could repackage himself as a big-hitting cricketer in Australia’s Big Bash League after defending his sprint double at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The Jamaican told Channel Nine in Australia that he had been contacted by Shane Warne about joining the spin great at the Melbourne Stars club in the Twenty20 league, which begins in December.
“He contacted me and asked me if I am serious and if I really want to do it, then he can put in a few words that should get it done,” Bolt told Channel Nine.
“We will see if I get the time off. I will try. Twenty20, I love it. Just the fact that it is so exciting, it’s about going hard the whole time, not just about playing shots.
“It’s about being aggressive and I like that style of batsman,” added Bolt, who retained the 100 and 200 metres titles and helped break the 4x100m relay world record in London. “If I get the chance I will definitely try because I know it’s going to be a lot of fun. I don’t know how good I am. I will probably have to get some practice in.”
The 25-year-old, who said during the Games that he wants a trial at Manchester United, first indicated his interest in the Big Bash League earlier this year.
Melbourne’s chief executive, Clint Cooper, said Bolt, who grew up playing street cricket and football in Jamaica, could fill one of the few remaining slots in the squad.
“We’re going to re-engage with him and his management company,” Cooper was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. “We’ve got a couple of spots left on our list.”
There was tentative support for Bolt’s signing on Sunday by Cricket Australia’s BBL project manager, Mike McKenna, although he would need assurances the sprinter was being picked on merit and not as a novelty inclusion to attract spectators and television viewers.
“We’d be very keen to have someone like Usain Bolt involved in some way in the BBL,” McKenna said. “He’s very keen on cricket, he’s been close to the Australian cricket team and I’d imagine he is pretty quick between the wickets.”
Bolt famously clean bowled then West Indies captain and good friend Chris Gayle in a charity match in 2009, having earlier belted him down the ground for six, and the vision became popular on YouTube.
Cricket fans in Australia are now getting excited by the prospect of the world’s fastest man steaming in from the Members’ End at the MCG for real.
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