i agree with all of the points made here. the OP said we need it, i agree.
mesecraft said, not going to add it, and the reason given seems sound.
mistere chimed in with, faster, “harder to evade” mobs, yes, totally, i agree, and dcmenche said easy enough to kill most of them off with a stone sword. so, i think the solution is hiding in plain sight.
look, there are times when a player dies far FAR from home, happens all the time, and you need to walk all the way back to try and get your bones, often dying a dozen more times while trying to do so, and traversing such HUGE worlds can be REALLY FUCKING BORING! and, since most of us have jobs and school, and various other responsibilities and lives, it’s a real drag when u spend literally all of your playing time just trekking out to where u died (sometimes by accident, like falling, or a one bite spider kill, etc.) so, having sprint doesn’t have to mean get an evade all mobs for free pass – just make the mobs faster too if you’re really worried about it taking a challenge out of the game. making crossing the world and exploring take so long in such a massive sandbox is drudgery.
another reasonable solution is crafting expensive stuff like crystal boots, a la Centeria server, but sprint could still be somewhere between walking speed and crystal boots speed (although how crystal boots makes any sense is beyond me, and that they make you faster, well, same).