What Jarryd Hayne can teach cricket
It would probably help to know who Jarryd Hayne is. Jarryd Hayne is a rugby league player that lit up the NFL in pre-season. So much so, that his team the San Francisco 49ers have announced that Hayne has made the initial 53 man roster. His silky footwork and blazing running made him stand out and he was very noticed.
It definitely goes to show that there is a lot of cross over between American sports and sports like cricket and rugby. Mike Young is a coaching proponent of both cricket and baseball at the highest level, he has definitely realized that there is a lot of cross over between the two sports that is able to be tapped.
Some innovative steps are the likes of Michael Clarke trading his cricket bat for a baseball bat as he trained for the past Cricket World Cup. More than just switching equipment, one wonders when a true cricket star will make the move to the MLB.
Yes, indeed JB Bernstein had the idea when he created Million Dollar Arm, which later went on to become a Disney movie. That however fell short of the mark of taking a real cricketer and transforming them into a baseball household name. On both counts, they were not true cricketers and they are yet to reach stardom proportions in the MLB
In fact, Ernie Banks, who was well past his prime once dueled Graham Gooch in a home run derby. The result was that Banks defeated Gooch with Gooch only managing to paste a home run in practice. Banks and Gooch later explained that this was due to the way cricketers handle their bats. Cricketers naturally try and swing to keep the ball along the ground while baseballers aim to swing the ball upwards. The truth is that things may be different nowadays, as this home run derby between Gooch and Banks took place before the advent of T20 cricket. It definitely would be interesting to watch Dave Warner or Chris Gayle swing for the fences.
The ICC ( international cricket council ) has put a lot of focus on cricket in the USA recently. There are definitely many factors, cricket in the olympics, a well run USA cricket governing body but a cricket star who blazes a trail in the MLB will definitely go a long way to igniting passion for the game in the USA.
Jarryd Hayne has done two things. Many Americans will have googled or Youtubed a video of rugby league and many Australians will have a keen interest in the NFL. The 49ers just scored themselves a boat load of Aussie fans. The same would happen for cricket, should a cricket superstar arise to take the MLB by storm.
Who would you candidate be?
AB De Villiers, Chris Gayle, Dave Warner or Brendon McCullum. These would all be choice candidates but are probably too experienced to make the enormous leap of faith. One fancies that choice candidates would be the likes of David Willey, Mitchell Marsh or Sanju Samson.
Now there's an idea.