Shane Warne bats for Bolt’s inclusion in BBL despite strident opposition
Sydney: Australian television presenter Eddie McGuire and Melbourne Stars captain Shane Warne have insisted on the inclusion of Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt in Australia’s domestic T20 league this season, although it is unclear whether he would eventually play in the tournament.
Melbourne Stars’ president McGuire has backed Bolt’s inclusion for the tournament and is trying to use him in some role.
“To be honest, Usain Bolt has provided as much marketing impetus to the KFC Big Bash League, probably only behind Shane Warne. If he doesn`t ever come, he has done more for this game, and Cricket Australia should put a street parade for him already,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted McGuire, as saying.
“Maybe some of the people at marketing who are talking about it being a negative, should come and have a chat with me and see what we`re actually doing, and not worry about it,” he added.
Warne, who replaced Cameron White as captain for the Melbourne Stars also expressed the same view.
“I think if you look at the bigger picture … to have Usain Bolt, if he`s good enough to play a game and he wants to be with us, that`s pretty good, isn`t it?” Warne said.
Earlier, officials with the Big Bash League and Cricket Australia had reportedly been less than enthusiastic about the Olympic champion and cricket lover being allowed to display his cricket skills, as they do not want to turn the tournament into a ‘circus’.
However, after McGuire’s insistence, it is most likely that the Jamaican could spend some time on the ground as a fieldsman, as well as having a net session and being involved in promotion, the paper said.