Lionel Messi messes up as he has a crack at cricket - video
Barcelona star fails to impress with a bizarre bowling action and strange batting technique
LIONEL MESSI may be the greatest footballer on the planet, but he has some way to go before he can claim to have got the hang of cricket.
The Barcelona star appears in a bizarre new advert for a herbal supplement in which he tries his hand at the English sport, apparently hitting sixes with ease and redefining the rules governing bowling.
The advert, presumably aimed at an Indian audience, features the Argentinean, wearing full football kit, taking on another player on a floodlit pitch as a group of children look on.
Messi starts off by trying his hand at batting and takes to the crease without pads, gloves, helmet and, possibly, a box. Displaying a very rudimentary technique he manages to hit his first ball through the off-side for four, yet appears disappointed.
He dispatches the next ball for six over what cricket fans would call 'cow corner', and despite the agricultural nature of the shot and a complete lack of footwork, Messi seems happy.
He then has a go at bowling, but his action, involving a crooked arm and no delivery stride, is quite clearly illegal. And after being hit for six by his opponent Messi decides to rely on his footballing skills and somehow delivers a wicked off-break from his boot, which bowls the batsman round his legs.
It is not the first time Messi has taken up an alien sport on behalf of advertiser Herbalife. In previous ads he has mastered basketball and table tennis, although he looked rather more comfortable playing those sports.
The reaction to the ad has been one of bemusement in most quarters. "It looks very unlikely that the Barcelona star will be trading La Liga for Lord’s any time soon," notes the Daily Mail, while Talksport suggests that he sticks to the day job.