After much sole searching, Zimbabwe’s Ryan Burl had clearly had enough. The left-handed middle-order batsman and occasional leg spinner was just not happy with the state of his country’s cricket kit, the shoes in particular. Unable to hold his tongue any longer, he went on to Twitter to complain about having to glue them back together at the end of every series.
Not fearing stick from his team-mates, his message read: “Any chance we can get a sponsor so we don’t have to glue our shoes back after every series,” – and he tagged New Balance into his tweet.
But while New Balance dragged their heels, perhaps weighing up the situation, their competitors, Puma, were far fleeter of foot in their response. They replied: “Time to put the glue away, I got you covered” and by Monday, shared a picture of red- and yellow-coloured shoes resembling the Zimbabwe kit, with the caption: “Express shipment for [Ryan Burl] and his mates. I hope the colours match the jersey.”
An excited Burl thanked the brand for “reaching out”, saying he could not “wait to join the Puma Cricket team. This is all due to the help and support from the fans over the last 24 hours. I couldn’t be more grateful to you all. Thanks so much @PUMA”.
Over 1,700 cricket fans were not slow to get in step behind Ryan to support his bold move and applaud Puma’s response, whilst plenty of other cricketers followed in their footsteps, including Yuvraj Singh, Washington Sundar and Harbhajan Singh.
However, it is worth pointing out that Puma are official team kit partner to the Royal Challengers Bangalore, so in many cases, they were rather toe-ing the party line. None the less it was no small feet of Ryan’s to help heel his team’s aching.
*Guerilla Cricket takes no responsibility for bad puns, which were made up on the hoof