Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

Home > News >

Usain Bolt dreamt of becoming Test cricket sensation

Usain Bolt dreamt of becoming Test cricket sensation

Usain Bolt said he used to talk only about cricket during his childhood © AFP

Pallab Bhattacharya

New Delhi: Oct 15, 2013

He may have won six Olympic gold medals and eight World Championships becoming the fastest man on earth but legendary Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt as a child dreamt of becoming a Test cricket sensation.

And once he hangs up his running shoes, Bolt wants to become a professional footballer in a club in England.

In fact, had Bolt not specialised in the track and field event, he would probably have played cricket, smashing sixes and taking wickets, says the athlete in his first full-length autobiography Faster Than Lightning published by Harper Collins.

And why not? For, Bolt was excited to watch the likes of other Jamaican and West Indies cricket icons in paceman Courtney Walsh and batting legend Brian Lara, who was from Trinidad and Tobago. He hung out with friends “smashing sixes around the school field” in his hometown.

“I really liked the kids who enjoyed cricket and I would hit it off with anyone who had a bat and a ball”, said Bolt.

Bolt believes he had all the ingredients to become a good cricketer — bowling with speed coming down hard on batsmen, a fast fielder and as a batsman.

“In cricket, when I bowled, I could come down on the wicket hard, with speed and I was quick in the field… At the age of eight, I was taking wickets of cricketers a lot older than me, guys that were 10 or 11 years old… It wasn’t long before I had opened the batting for Waldensia (his village school) a couple of years earlier than most kids even made the team”, he said.

“I loved cricket but I never thought I could make anything of my speed other than as a bowler.”

Bolt acknowledged that track and field was not something that had interested him before.

“My dad Wellesley was a cricket nut, and so were all my friends. Naturally, it’s all we talked about. Nobody ever conversed about the 100 metres or the long jump at school.

“All the fun I needed came from taking wickets. Running quick was just a handy tool for taking down batsmen, who were of my height and strength”.

Bolt was so drawn to cricket that his only problem with going to William Knibb High School “was that the school didn’t want me to play cricket any more, not seriously any way.”

“I was 11 years old and I was hoping to take Physical Education lessons, pick up my pads and bat and continue with my dream of becoming a Test sensation,” said the sprinter reminiscing of his school days.

It was at that point of his life that his Physical Education teacher in school motivated him away from cricket and into track and field.

“Bolt, if you do well in track and field, it’s on you and no one else. In cricket, there are other people involved because it’s a team sport… You could play well, better than anyone else, but if the coach has a favourite, then you might not get picked. That happens quite a lot in life and it’s unfair. But in track and field, you are the boss of yourself”, said the teacher to Bolt.

Other than cricket, Bolt is as strongly attracted to football, an attraction which almost cost his life three years ago when he was driving his car with great speed on a highway in Jamaica in a bid to catch up with his favourite club Manchester United‘s match in the Champions League semi-final on TV and met with an accident.

Towards the end of the 278-page autobiography, Bolt expressed his desire to become a professional footballer for a team in England by the year 2016 if he can’t race at the top level by then.

“When I finish with track and field, I’ll change sports and move on. If I can’t race at the top level by 2016, then I want to turn my hand to another game — football, most probably because I can play and with enough effort I can get better.

“I reckon I could add something special to a team in England”, said Bolt, avowed Manchester United fan since he was a child, who would turn on the TV every Sunday hoping the club would be playing.

Pointing to some wingers (without naming them) in the English Premier League, who he said “have not been that great” or “haven’t been able to cross the ball with any accuracy, Bolt added, “I can pick up a pass, take on a few players at speed and create goal-scoring opportunities.”

“I’m not saying I’m the next Cristiano Ronaldo, but I’m a speed guy with skill. Imagine, what I could do with a lot of practice”, brimmed Bolt.

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

More

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 23, 2014  at Dubai

Chennai Super Kings won by 7 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 22, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 72 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 21, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Chennai Super Kings won by 93 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 20, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014  at Dubai

Delhi Daredevils won by 4 wkts

Photos

CSK vs DD, IPL 2014 Match 8 at Abu Dhabi

Videos

IPL: Tanmay Mishra talks shows the contents of his kit

Sachin Tendulkar — One of the hardest terms to optimise for any SEO professional

Sachin Tendulkar changed the fortunes of cricket journalists in India

Sachin Tendulkar — the greatest batsman of India

Sachin Tendulkar: A timeless fairytale

Sachin Tendulkar: The child, the father, but sexy? Not quite

Chennai Super Kings Delhi Daredevils Glenn Maxwell India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kings XI Punjab KXIP vs SRH MS Dhoni Rajasthan Royals RR vs CSK 2014 Sanju Samson Sunrisers Hyderabad Suresh Raina

IPL 2014: Sunrisers Hyderabad look to open their account against Delhi Daredevils

Pakistan Cricket Board looking at appointing Ahmed Shehzad as the captain of T20 setup

IPL 2014: Mumbai Indians look for win against confident Chennai Super Kings

Ali Bacher backs AB de Villiers as next Test captain

Sachin Tendulkar votes in Lok Sabha elections

Happy birthday! A bouquet of CricketCountry’s best Sachin Tendulkar features

Sachin Tendulkar – The century of centuries in tweets

Sachin Tendulkar — One of the hardest terms to optimise for any SEO professional

Sachin Tendulkar changed the fortunes of cricket journalists in India

Happy Birthday, Sachin Tendulkar — The lesser known records

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

622 Posts | 7 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli's 77 during India vs Sri Lanka ICC World T20 2014 final at Dhaka

Salman Khan beats Hrithik Roshan to be voted Bollywood’s fittest actor!

Samsung’s unannounced 7-inch phablet leaked online

Did Kareena Kapoor shy away from voting?

Pakistan Cricket Board looking at appointing Ahmed Shehzad as the captain of T20 setup

IPL 2014: Sunrisers Hyderabad look to open their account against Delhi Daredevils

Facebook CFO David Ebersman to bid adieu

Juhi Chawla, Preity Zinta, Mahesh Bhatt, Ritesh Deshmukh among others cast their vote

9 factors that increase your risk for HIV

Also on cricketcountry.com