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IPL staff in Mumbai 13 August 2012 - 03:43pm IST

Want to play in the IPL: Blake

World’s two fastest men – Bolt and Blake are bowled over by cricket

Cricket might not yet be an Olympic sport. But it surely rules the hearts of two men who have established their reign over the athletics track in the London Games. World’s top two fastest men, Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake – the winners of gold and silver medals respectively in the 2012 Olympics in the 100 and 200 metre sprints – have expressed their desire to play Twenty20 cricket.

Blake, who finished second in men’s 100-metre dash in London, announced unabashedly that he had grown up to “love cricket even more than track and field” and that he is extremely interested in playing in the Indian Premier League.

“I am looking at some teams, Mumbai Indians and also [Royal Challengers] Bangalore because of Chris Gayle as he's from the West Indies,” Blake said. “I am asking my agent to get me a shot to try out and I think I can make the team because I am really, really quick. I think I can be one of the fastest bowlers in the world,” claimed the second fastest man in the world.

While his reaction after winning the medals at the Olympics oozed coolness and nonchalance, a mention of cricket lit up Blake’s eyes and his passion flowed in form of words.

“I want to show you that I am better at cricket than running! I am a really talented batsman. I am a T20 batsman. You guys need to see me in action. I am a bowling machine that can bat all day. I have played some cricket... that's my love, that's my passion, every day I watch cricket,” Blake spoke with the enthusiasm of a kid.

Meanwhile, Blake’s legendary fellow Jamaican sprinter, Bolt is seriously considering playing in Australia’s Big Bash League, the top two teams from which qualify for the Champions League Twenty20.

Bolt played junior cricket as a fast bowler and fascinatingly once clean bowled Chris Gayle in a charity match in Jamaica in 2009. During the 2012 Games, Bolt confirmed his intention to take time off from the track to play T20 cricket professionally.

“Twenty20, I love it. Just the fact that it is so exciting, it's about going hard the whole time, not just about playing shots. It's about being aggressive and I like that style of batsman. If I get the chance I will definitely try because I know it's going to be a lot of fun. I don't know how good I am. I will probably have to get a lot of practice in,” Bolt enthused.

The 22-year-old Blake might be second best to Bolt on the track. But when it comes to cricket, Blake says he is better than the Olympic champion. “Even though he is starting to get more bounce than me sometimes, I am really quick. I bowl fast... sometimes I even swing the ball. But most of the time I bowl into the batsman. I bowl really good to left-handers because I swing back the ball inside. And I am a right-hand batsman, a really powerful one. Of course, I can beat Bolt at cricket.”

The very idea of the two kings of the track sprinting towards the likes of Gayle, Tendulkar or Sehwag with the cricket ball in their hand gets the adrenaline rushing.

The younger of the two, Blake, has already announced an open challenge to some of the best batsmen in the world. ”I can even [bowl] out Sachin, you know, and Virender Sehwag. So, I know what I can do.”

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