Jamaican sprint legend Yohan Blake is not just following compatriot and iconic sprinter Usain Bolt on the track, he also wants to emulate the fastest ever man on planet earth after retirement from track and field. Bolt has played a seven-a-side cricket tournament in India, besides trying his luck in professional football. Blake is looking for a post-retirement career in the Indian Premier League.
Blake has shortlisted Shah Rukh Khan co-owned Kolkata Knight Riders and Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore as the IPL teams to play for. His IPL ambitions are much bigger. He also wants to own a stake in one of the IPL teams.
“I have two more years left in track and field and then its cricket for me. But, I do not wish to play for the West Indies. I would love to feature in franchise cricket; I would even love to own a franchise in India. And most importantly, play for either Kolkata Knight Riders or the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Chris Gayle (fellow Jamaican) was there for a long time,” the Jamaican said in Mumbai.
If Gayle is the cause of his connect with the KKR, London Olympics twin silver medallist and currently the fastest athlete on track is in awe of the RCB because of Kohli and AB de Villiers. “I love the Bangalore team especially for Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers,” Blake said.
Blake was in India to promote the Road Safety World Series, a T20 league that will see yesteryear cricket legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Jonty Rhodes, and Virender Sehwag play for benevolence.
The series, scheduled from February 2 to 16 next year, will have leading former cricket stars from Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
Blake though confirmed that he had declined an offer for playing in the Caribbean Premier League. “Yeah, I got an offer from the Jamaica Tallawahs this year, but I could not take it up because I was focusing on training for the World Championships [Doha], the Olympics coming up and World Championships again [March 2020 in Nanjing, China]. It’s a bit tough for me,” he has told national daily Mid-Day.
Blake regularly features in charity cricket matches.