Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has a passion for cricket and football, too. The world record holder athlete was nurturing his cricketing ambitions before taking to track. Then what makes him competent enough to train the Australian cricket team?
Cricket Australia has engaged the Jamaican sprint star to train their players during the home Ashes series. The retired sprinter will help Kangaroos to improve running between the wickets. He has been training the Australian batsmen to improve their speed off the mark.
“It’s all about explosiveness, and that’s one thing I’ve noticed with cricket. They don’t really have a lot of explosiveness when they’re running,” the Herald Sun newspaper has quoted Bolt as saying.
“They seem to always take off at a slow rate. Getting that right will definitely help people.”
The 31-year-old Bolt is trying to increase the awareness of running while batting. The sprinter has the advantage as he has been into both – the speed running and cricket. That enables him to strike a right balance for the advantage of the cricketers.
Australian batsman Peter Handscomb said Bolt’s tips were welcomed ahead of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane. “He was giving us a few pointers on how to get a little bit faster,” Handscomb is reported as saying. “We’ll give it a crack. He was trying to get us nice and low in the turn and in and out. The first couple of steps are key and if we can get them right, we’ll be fast.
“Obviously he’s the fastest man ever so if we can have the title with him, that’d be cool,” Handscomb is quoted as saying.
Bolt has also been invited to train German premier league football, Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund. “It’s something that I want to do. I’m trying to get fit now,” he is quoted as saying. “My doctor finally passed me after my hamstring problems at the world championships, so now I can start training. I’ve started training while I’m here and trying to get into shape before I get home and next year I’ll get a trial and we’ll take it from there.”