Aussie Big Bash wants ‘The Beast’

Friday, August 17, 2012

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LONDON, England (CMC) — Jamaican sprint sensation Yohan Blake says there is a "real possibility" that he could debut his international cricket career in Australia this summer.

Olympic silver medallist in the 100 and 200 metres, Blake is being considered to play Twenty/20 cricket in the Australia Big Bash League.

Blake, who recently expressed his desire to play international cricket, is being pursued by the Sydney Sixers.

"I love cricket, more than I love athletics," said Blake, a guest of honour at Lord’s for the first day of England’s final Test with South Africa and who rang the bell to start play.

"It is a possibility and definitely one I hope comes true," he told Sky Sports during the tea interval.

Blake, who beat Bolt in both the 100m and 200m in his country’s Olympics Trials in June, says he practices his batting on a regular basis.

"I bowl around 85-90 mph, which is definitely quicker than Usain," said Blake. He would probably get more bouncers than me because he is taller, but I am definitely faster than him," said Blake, nicknamed "The Beast".

"I would like to see T20 as an Olympic sport and I would definitely want to play in that. I could do that as well as run the 100m, 200m and the relay."

Blake, who lists cricket as his first love after athletics, played a Twenty20 match for Kingston Cricket Club in the Jamaican league prior to the Olympics and claimed an astonishing 4-10.

Australian agent Tony Connelly is reported to be brokering the deal between Blake and the Big Bash after seeing the sprinter’s comments.

"Usain might run quicker but Yohan is a faster bowler," Connelly said. "He always dreamed of playing cricket for the West Indies, so the Big Bash is his chance to play with the world’s best."

Blake and his manager are now working out if he will be free to play BBL games this summer amid his sprint commitments, the Telegraph in Sydney has reported.

The Sixers are hoping to offer him their final overseas marquee contract which can be tailored to a deal for a specific number of matches, the Telegraph also reported.

"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," Sixers chief executive Stuart Clark said.

"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."




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