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Rediff.com  » Sports » Yohan Blake reveals cricket is his first love

Yohan Blake reveals cricket is his first love

Last updated on: August 10, 2012 11:34 IST

'I want to play in the IPL'

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Harish Kotian

He gave Usain Bolt a mighty scare on the track in both the 100 and 200 metres at the London Olympics but Yohan Blake surprised all his fans by saying that "cricket is his first love".

- London Olympics 2012 - Complete coverage

After finishing second to Bolt in the 200 metres, 22-year-old Blake expressed his desire to play in the next edition of the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament.

"Of course I want to play in the IPL. Cricket is my first love and if I get the chance I want to play. A couple of teams want me to come and try out because my game is supposed to be good. I will be going to Mumbai [Indians] and also [Royal Challengers] Bangalore. I love you Indian people," he said in London on Thursday night, adding that he is an all-rounder and can contribute with both bat and ball.

Image: Yohan Blake
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

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'I think I can bowl out Sachin, which is my aim in life'

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IPL has been a huge hit with fans worldwide ever since its inception in 2008. The players from the Caribbean have made a huge impact in the IPL with the likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine having made a huge impact.

Despite having achieved massive success and fame as a sprinter, Blake is yearning to get the wicket of Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar in a cricket match.

"I think I can bowl out Sachin, which is my aim in life."

Jamaica swept the three medals in the men's 100 metres with Bolt claiming gold ahead of Blake, while Warren Weir took bronze.

Blake hails from Kingston, Jamaica, which has produced great cricketers of the likes of Chris Gayle, Michael Holding and Courtney Walsh.

Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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'Cricket is my love, my passion'

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Though many would not believe this, Blake, the reigning world champion in the 100 metres, believes that he is better at cricket than sprinting. He started as a fast bowler at St. Jago High School in Spanish Town before his principal saw him sprinting beautifully to the wicket and got him into running.

"I have been watching cricket since I was a small kid with my father and I have grown up to love the sport. I am better at cricket than running. I am a really talented batsman, I am a Twenty20 batsman. I have the bowling machine against which I bat everyday. That is my love, my passion and I watch cricket everyday. I am right hand batsman, a very powerful one," he said.

Blake, who is known as 'The Beast', is a die-hard cricket fan and his favourite player is fellow Jamaican Chris Gayle, but he also adores Indian batting legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag.


Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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Blake calls for T20 at the Olympics

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'The Beast' also called for cricket's T20 format to be included in the future Olympics, which will give him the chance to compete in multiple events, he says.

"Cricket must be an Olympic sport because it can be entertaining like we have seen in IPL. If cricket is introduced at the Olympics then why not, it is my first love after all. Cricket is higher than track and field for me," he said.

Blake claimed that he is a much quicker and lethal bowler than the current Indian pace bowlers of the likes of Zaheer Khan.

"Of course I am faster than Indian bowlers like Zaheer Khan and Praveen Kumar. They are not quick, you know. They are bowling like 70-80 kmph, but I bowl more than 90 because I am very strong. I can bowl really fast. I will send you the video and you can see it. I like Ishant Sharma because he is quick."

Photographs: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

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'I can beat Usain at cricket'

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"I bowl fast, I bowl swing. Most of the times I bowl induckers to the batsmen, I bowl well to left-handers because I can get the ball to swing in to them," he added.

There is one sport where Blake thinks he can beat Bolt and not surprising it is cricket.

"I can beat Usain at cricket. Even though he gets slightly more bounce than me sometimes but I am really quick," he said.

Asked to choose between Tests and T20s, Blake reply was: "I love to play Test, that's a five day game."

Blake also thanked the Indian fans for their support and said they are the best fans he has ever come across.

"First and foremost, I want to tell the people of India you are great. Thank you for the support. I love you India, you guys are great. Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore...you guys have been good and I love you all. I just want to say you are the best in the world," he said.

Image: Blake with Bolt
Photographs: Harry How/Getty Images
Tags: Blake , Mumbai , Bolt , Usain , Chennai

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