The Indian Premier League (IPL) is not just another cricket tournament. Its glitz and appeal, both for the skills and money, have lured players from across the globe. Whether current or retired — cricketers give no second thought to bagging a tempting offer in the T20 tournament held every summer.
And now, the appeal of the IPL has transcended the borders of cricket. Jamaica’s Olympic medal-winning sprinter Yohan Blake has expressed a desire to play in the IPL after retiring from athletics.
The 29-year-old sportsperson, who is in India to promote the Road Safety World Series — a T20 series scheduled between February 2 and 16 next year that will feature former greats like Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Jonty Rhodes, Virender Sehwag and others. The World Series will be an annual T20 tournament played between the retired cricketers from four nations besides India — Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
Yohan Blake interested in RCB and KKR
Blake, who is now eyeing a Gold in the next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, is interested to play for two IPL franchises: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). The Knight Riders franchise also take part in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with the name of Trinbago Knight Riders. Blake, called the second-fastest man on the planet after Usain Bolt, is though not interested to play for the West Indies. Blake even had an offer from CPL team Jamaica Tallawahs this year but refused to play because of lack of time.
“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,” he was quoted as saying by Mid-Day.
“Chris Gayle [fellow Jamaican] was there for a long time. I love the Bangalore team especially Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. Also, the Kolkata team, because Gayle has played for them too,” he added.
Andre Russell, who often sets the stage on fire for the KKR, is also a fellow Jamaican Blake would be proud of.
He also revealed he had received an offer from Caribbean Premier League team Jamaica Tallawahs this year but refused it due to lack of time. “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 said.
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