Ashes 2017/18: Australia seek Usain Bolt's help to sprint between the wickets
What's the story?
Ahead of the 2017/18 edition of the Ashes, the Australian team has sought the help of sprint king Usain Bolt in order to improve the players' running between the wickets. Hoping to infuse intensity into their take-off speeds, the 31-year old Jamaican put the cricketers through the paces during a training session in Melbourne on Sunday.
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. They seem to always take off at a slow rate. Getting that right will definitely help people", Bolt told Herald Sun.
The legendary sprinter added, "We’re trying to make awareness more of running (in cricket) and we’re developing the Bolt Rate which is the quickest person through the wicket. I’m happy about that, because we’re going to see who is the fastest between the wickets."
Gatorade, in association with Eleven and TBWA Sydney, has joined hands with Bolt to create a new metric which will track the batsmen's running speed between the wickets. Utilising 'Bolt Rate' as a measure, the quickest cricketer will be crowned with the 'Gatorade Fastest Run Trophy'.
The heart of the matter
Bolt's admiration for cricket has been well-documented. The iconic sprinter, who recently pulled the curtains down on his remarkable career, has admitted that cricket was his first love. He even termed former Pakistan pacer Waqar Younis as his childhood hero. The veteran's enthusiasm for the game was rekindled during his training session with the Australian team.
Batsman Peter Handscomb, who is set to make his Ashes debut, revealed that Bolt provided valuable pointers to the players on increasing their running between the wickets. Emphasizing on the importance of the first couple of steps, he also divulged that the seasoned sprinter looked to get the cricketers to lower their center of gravity while turning for the second run and so forth.
The eagerly awaited first Test between Australia and England will begin at the Gabba on the 23rd. With running between the wickets becoming an integral part of modern-day cricket, it remains to be seen if the home team's batsmen are able to reap the benefits of their training session with Bolt.
The Australian team has always led the way in interspersing the intricacies of other sports into cricket. Cricket Australia as well as the team management must be commended for roping in Bolt to enhance the players' efficiency in running between the wickets.