Fri, Aug 17, 2012 - Page 19 News List

Blake could join Bolt in Australian Big Bash League

AFP, SYDNEY

Yohan Blake could join fellow Olympic sprint sensation Usain Bolt in Australia’s domestic Twenty20 Big Bash League, in a showdown between the world’s two fastest men on the cricket field.

The Sydney Sixers franchise are hoping to lure him for the December tournament, after Bolt made clear he wanted to turn out for the Melbourne Stars.

Like Bolt, Blake is from Jamaica and cricket-mad, and Sixers chief executive Stuart Clark said he was keen on setting up a clash between the close friends.

“For one, he is a great athlete, and yes he would be a marketer’s dream, but from all reports, he can actually play cricket and that’s better than anything else,” Clark told the Sydney Daily Telegraph. “If he can do what he says he can do, and I have no reason to disbelieve him, Yohan would be a marquee player for me to sign. I would definitely be considering it.”

Earlier this week, Shane Warne revealed he was leading a campaign to bring Bolt to Melbourne, with negotiations under way with the Melbourne Stars, the Australian former Test leg-spinner’s club.

Bolt played junior cricket before turning to the track and has long voiced a love for the game.

“He [Warne] contacted me and asked me about if I am serious and if I really want to do it, then he can put in a few words that should get it done,” Bolt told Australian television. “So we will see if I get the time off. I will try.”

Cricket is hugely popular in the West Indies, with Jamaica one of its strongest teams, producing greats such as Michael Holding, Courtney Walsh and Chris Gayle.

According to the Telegraph, Blake, who took silver in the Olympic 100m and 200m events behind Bolt, says he is “a bowling machine.”

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