English cricketer Jimmy Anderson has stripped down for the cover of Attitude magazine, saying he hopes the article and accompanying photos attract a new audience to the game.
"From my point of view, I think doing this could be fantastic for cricket,” he told AFP. “Hopefully this will attract a new sort of fan."
The married 28-year-old plays first-class cricket for Lancashire County Cricket Club. He said that unlike in other sports, he thinks if there are any closeted cricketers, they should come out, because he hasn’t seen any homophobia in the sport.
"If there are any gay cricketers, they should feel confident enough to come out, because I don't think there is homophobia in cricket,” he said. “Football fans can be quite abusive and quite harsh, and cricket fans can be like that sometimes, but they are generally quite placid and there to watch the game and support their team."
Anderson said if any of his teammates were to come out, he’d celebrate by throwing them “a special gay cricket tea."