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   Jul 05

David Warner: I tried baseball but I won’t be doing a Jarryd Hayne

David Warner flirted with the idea of a career in baseball but says he could never follow the path taken by rugby league star Jarryd Hayne and start from scratch after working so hard to reach the pinnacle in cricket.
Nanjing Night Net

The Australian opener’s manager, Tony Connelly, said 18 months ago that he and Warner had spoken about a possible tilt at professional baseball, and the promoter of the Major League Baseball game opening series staged at the SCG last year nominated the left-hander as the one cricketer who could potentially make a successful switch.

In the lead-up to the Ashes Warner has revealed he did in fact briefly try his hand in a batting cage.

“I won’t say I trialled but I did have a hit on the Gold Coast a little while back and I went to America as well to have a look at a few things,” he told Fairfax Media in England.

“But it’s not like being a Jarryd Hayne. I think what he is doing is fantastic and I think it’s a credit to him because I think he sees himself as very, very good at rugby league and he probably could have gone and played rugby union as well like Israel Folau, for example.

“But he’s always wanted to play NFL and credit to him, he’s gone over there to give himself a challenge and try to make it over there.”

Hayne, the former Parramatta Eels and NSW State of Origin fullback, last year turned his back on a multi-million dollar contract in the NRL to chase his dream in the NFL and in March signed a rookie deal with the San Francisco 49ers.

Warner, however, said he could not entertain going down a similar path.

“Going from cricket to where the ball is not bouncing compared to (Hayne), where he’s still opening running and still using the ball, I think it’s a bit different to put all my eggs in one basket and go there and try baseball,” he said.

“I don’t know what it’s been like for him but I know if you go from cricket, being a world-renowned player, and you go to baseball, you’re back down the pecking order you’ve got to start all over again. It was hard enough to get where I am today, to get the baggy green, to say I’m prepared to do that for another seven or eight years.

“I’ll be 35, 36. And in a Major League career a good player probably only gets two to three years. A great player, the same as in cricket, can go for 10 to 15 years. But what are you doing it for? I’ve got no ambitions to be MVP of the Major League Baseball. I’d never grown up watching it. Clearly if I was to go and try baseball it’d be about the money, that’s all it would be.”

So how did he hit them with a baseball bat in his hands, not a hunk of willow?

“I hit them well,” he said. “But the thing is it’s so different because in cricket when you get one on the hip you obviously try and tuck it away and I found every time I got a wider one I tried to cut it. But I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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