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HindustanTimes Mon,28 Jul 2014

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Indian T20 league rings a bell with Blake
Shail Desai , Hindustan Times
Mumbai, April 10, 2013
First Published: 00:56 IST(10/4/2013)
Last Updated: 00:57 IST(10/4/2013)

There's one man sitting miles away who cannot get enough of the Indian domestic T20 league, especially when the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) take centrestage.

A self-proclaimed fan of RCB and a friend of Chris Gayle, sprinter Yohan Blake has been a livewire on his Twitter handle @YohanBlake, ever since the tournament kicked off last week. And the Jamaican can't wait to get to the country where all the action is.

"A lot would bring me to India. Firstly, it's the league. I would love to meet the players. Secondly, it's the love from the people, the food, I would love India," he said.

The sprinter even received a personalised jersey from RCB that says 'Blake, 9.75' --- a timing that got him silver at the London Olympics in 2012.

For someone who swears his first love is cricket, a sport he played during his earlier days and continues to play for Kingston Cricket Club during off season, making the switch to track and field was quite a task.

"It was extremely hard to switch to athletics, but at the time it was the best thing for me to do for my family and me. I was at a point in life where I had to do something that would help me and my family," he said.

While countryman and training mate Usain Bolt is someone 'always good to have in competition who pushes you to do better', there's one place where he's pipped him to that he's mighty proud of. This, considering Bolt himself is a die-hard cricket fan.

"It was a great moment, I was the first non-cricketer to ring the bell at Lord's, and for me that was just a wonderful feeling," he recalled of his eventful day in August last year. "If given the chance I would have dived onto that field. The weather at Lord's that day was ideal for a swing bowler."

For now, the focus is all on the Diamond League event in Shanghai next month where he'll take on Bolt once again. And of course, back to rooting for RCB.


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