Crossword Genius

Pitcher inspires middle order field athlete (7)


I believe the answer is:


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'athlete' is the definition.
(I know that hurdler is a type of athlete)

'pitcher inspires middle order field' is the wordplay.
'pitcher' becomes 'hurler' (synonyms).
'inspires' indicates putting letters inside (inspire means to breathe in).
'middle order field' becomes 'd' (I can't justify this - if you can you should believe this answer much more).
'hurler' placed around 'd' is 'HURDLER'.

Can you help me to learn more?

(Other definitions for hurdler that I've seen before include "Track athlete" , "Athlete who runs and jumps" , "Jumping runner" , "Athlete who leaps over barriers" , "Horse that races 'over the sticks'" .)

I've seen this clue in the Sydney Morning Herald.
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