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News

From Bazball to baseball: Harry Brook joins MLB spring training

England batter links up with St Louis Cardinals as part of MLB ambassador role

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
02-Mar-2023
Harry Brook launches another drive down the ground, New Zealand v England, 1st Test,  Mount Maunganui, 3rd day, February 18, 2023

Home-run Harry? Brook will be practising his swing with the St Louis Cardinals  •  Getty Images

Harry Brook has made a stunning start to his career as a Test cricketer but this weekend he will swap Bazball for baseball as he tries his hand at a different kind of hitting.
Brook, who has made 809 runs and four hundreds in his first four Tests, arrived in the United States on Wednesday following England's one-run defeat to New Zealand in the second Test in Wellington, and will join the St Louis Cardinals at spring training in Florida.
His code-switch will not last long. Brook's involvement with the Cardinals has come about through a commercial deal with Major League Baseball (MLB), which will see Brook and England fast bowler Issy Wong become MLB ambassadors in Europe.
"I'm really excited for this partnership and can't wait to try my hand at hitting some home runs," Brook said in an MLB press release. "I'm intrigued to see how different it is to cricket and what similarities there are too - will a home run feel as good as hitting a six?
"I'm also excited to learn from how other professional sportspeople go about their game and see if there are any transferable skills between batting in baseball and cricket. It's going to be amazing to see baseball first hand in the US and help spread the word back in the UK and hopefully help build baseball's fan base here."
Brook will film some promotional content with the Cardinals while in the US over the next few days, before returning home on Sunday. It is understood that the deal will also see Brook play in the IPL and the Ashes with an MLB logo affixed to the back of his bat, while Wong will do the same in the upcoming WPL and the English summer.
Brook was initially due to play for Lahore Qalandars in the PSL in March and was considered for selection for England's white-ball tour to Bangladesh. But he has instead opted to rest ahead of the IPL after a hectic winter, and will spend around three weeks at home after his trip to the US, before travelling to India to fulfil his lucrative contract with Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98