Usain Bolt may play football or cricket after 2016 Olympics

By Sam SheringhamBBC Sport
Usain Bolt

Sprint star Usain Bolt will not appear in this year's Big Bash Twenty20 League but may consider switching to cricket or football after the 2016 Olympics.

The Jamaican, 26, held talks with Shane Warne's Melbourne Stars in October.

But Bolt's agent Ricky Simms told BBC Sport: "Usain is currently an athlete focused on his preparations for the 2013 World Championships in Moscow.

"He may try his hand at cricket or football when he retires from running but that would be after 2016."

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Bolt, who grew up in cricket-mad Jamaica, was sounded out by Melbourne Stars captain Warne in August after cementing his status as an athletics legend by defending his and relay crowns at the London 2012 Olympics.

Bolt said at the time that he would "definitely" love to be involved in the Australian tournament, prompting Warne to launch a Twitter campaign to try to bring about the move.

The story resurfaced on Friday when ex-Australia wicketkeeper Ian Healy tweetedexternal-link that a deal between Bolt and the Stars to play in the competition - which runs from 7 December to 9 January - was "hours away".

But Healy's claim was dismissed by Simms, who said: "I met with the Melbourne Stars in October and told them Usain is not available to play cricket this year."

Melbourne Stars media manager Jess Cook told BBC Sport that the team had held "lengthy discussions" with Bolt's representatives over the summer before accepting defeat.

"From our end this has been done and dusted since mid-October," she told BBC Sport.

"We had lengthy discussions with Bolt's management from June to August but his training schedule ahead of the World Championships unfortunately wouldn't allow him to be involved with the Stars this summer.

"We will remain close to Bolt and explore it again next season."

Bolt, who describes himself as an all-rounder, has appeared in charity cricket matches and famously clean bowled then West Indies captain Chris Gayle in 2009.

His first love, however, is football. He was a special guest of Manchester United at the 2011 Champions League final in London and spoke recently of his desire to play professionally in the future.

"I always wanted to try to play soccer," he stated in October. "Maybe at the end of my career. It would be something that I would love to try."

Jamaican sprint rival Yohan Blake, who captured gold at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu when a false start ruled Bolt out of the final, also touts himself as a potential cricketer.

The 23-year-old was a guest of honour at Lord's for the first day of England's final Test with South Africa in August and declared his desire to play in the Big Bash after interest from the Sydney Sixers.

"I bowl around 85-90 mph, which is definitely quicker than Usain," said Blake.

"He would probably get more bouncers than me because he is taller but I am definitely faster than him."

BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra will broadcast live commentary of selected Big Bash matches.


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