Warne and Bolt for the Melbourne Stars?
Shane Warne - The orange seahorse? Slattery Images
Shane Warne, the greatest leggie the world has ever seen, and Usain Bolt, the greatest track sprinter the world has ever seen, teaming up to play for the Melbourne Stars for next season’s Big Bash League.
What a hoot, what a brilliant marketing concept kickstarted at the London Olympics by broadcaster Eddie Maguire, the Melbourne Star president.
And there’s every chance Bolt will accept, commitments allowing.
And with Warne on the case drumming up business to cement the deal, it’s almost game, set, and match.
Ever since he burst onto the track scene like a bolt of lightning, cricketers the world over knew of Bolt’s genuine love for the game. He’s a Jamaican, why wouldn’t he love cricket and follow the West Indies?
The great Windies teams of the past were calypso cricketers, just as Bolt is a calypso athlete. Everything is fun.
Importantly, Bolt can play the grand old game, something that concerned Cricket Australia’s Mike McKenna, project manager of the BBL.
“We hope he’s being picked on merit and not just a novelty inclusion to attract spectators and television viewers,” McKenna chirped.
Hello, what planet are you on pal?
But McKenna proved he was “switched on” when he imagined Bolt would be pretty quick between the wickets.
Hello, hello, hello.
Which begs the question: why didn’t the Sydney Thunder think of Bolt with Chris Gayle a marquee player in the squad?
Bolt was captain of the Trelawny All Stars X1 in a 2009 charity game in Jamaica, when he smacked his good friend Gayle for a monster six, scoring 13 off 10 deliveries.
Trelawny made 6-124 off 15 overs.
Bolt in reply, bowling off a long run and pretty quick, greeted Gayle with a bouncer first ball, then bowled him neck and crop to complete a very different, but as usual, highly successful day out for the then triple Olympic gold medallist.
The mouthwatering thought of Bolt and Gayle playing together would have made the SCG split at the seams.
But like everything else in NSW sport, nothing happens. Before I go on, I’m a New South Welshman and proud of it, but in despair.
NSW Origin played some super rugby league, but still lost the series 2-1 to Queensland for the seventh successive year.
The Waratahs and Sydney FC are basket cases, so too NSW cricket and the Sydney Kings.
The NSW Swifts haven’t won the ANZ Championship netball title since 2008.
The sole saving grace for this once great sporting state are the Sydney Swans, but only for those who follow the AFL. The Canterbury Bulldogs may yet be our salvation.
Usain Bolt would have brightened our lives across the board no end. But no, Melbourne has beaten us to the punch yet again.
And if it’s not Victoria, it’s Queensland rubbing our noses in it.
It’s high time something was done about correcting those wrongs.