Playing for a country like Zimbabwe has its own limitations and Ryan Burl, a promising all-rounder from the African nation, had faced them more than anyone else. It came to a point that he had to plead for shoe sponsors on social media and then the good samaritans amplified to an extent that Puma Cricket, one of the leading apparel sponsors, came forward to get him covered.
A squash player at the Peterhouse Boys School in Marondera - which produced cricketers like Tom Curran, Sam Curran, and Gary Ballance - Burl was fascinated by the fun of team games. Rising through the ranks, he made his Zimbabwe Under-17 and Under-19 debut in the 2010-11 season and made his international debut in 2017.
However, being a batsman is an expensive pursuit and Burl has seen the repercussions quite closely. On May 22, Saturday, he took to social media to seek sponsorship for the national team by posting a photo of worn-out shoes. “Any chance we can get a sponsor so we don’t have to glue our shoes back after every series?” he wrote.
The picture got all the love and was amplified by many fans, requesting brands to come forward and support the Zimbabwean middle-order.
Within 24 hours, that got the attention of Puma Cricket - sponsor to many stars including Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, KL Rahul, and AB de Villiers. Puma quote tweeted the post, saying, “Time to put the glue away, I got you covered @ryanburl3.”
The Zimbabwe player further wrote, on Twitter, thanking the fans for the support while officially announcing the news.
“I am so proud to announce that I’ll be joining the @pumacricket 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.”