Bolt and Blake lined up to play in Australian cricket league

Aug 16, 2012

Jamaican sprinters could resume their rivalry playing in the Twenty20 Big Bash League

OLYMPIC sprint superstars Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake could be the main attractions in Australia this Christmas, on the cricket field. The two Jamaicans, who are both keen cricketers, are being courted by sides taking part in the Twenty20 Big Bash League.

Earlier this week it was reported that Shane Warne had asked Bolt, the Olympic 100m and 200m champion, to play for his team, the Melbourne Stars. The legendary spinner launched a campaign on Twitter to get Bolt on board as the franchise began talks with Bolt's management.

Now Bolt's arch rival and training partner, 22-year-old Blake, has been approached by the Sydney Sixers franchise. Sixers chief executive Stuart Clark has confirmed that he wants to get Blake on board and has already got the war of words underway. "Usain Bolt is a great showman and entertainer, but he can't play cricket as far as I'm aware," he told the Sydney Daily Telegraph. "Yohan Blake can, it seems."

It is not the first time Bolt has been linked with sports other than athletics. He has made no secret of his desire to play football for Manchester United and even exchanged tweets with defender Rio Ferdinand during the Olympics about trying to set up a trial at Old Trafford.

But Bolt's love of cricket is also well documented. In 2009 he hit former West Indies captain Chris Gayle for six in a charity match and then clean bowled the international opening batsman.

However, cricket could be the one field where Blake, who won two silver medals at London 2012, has the edge. Last week he described himself as "a bowling machine that can bat all day" and it has been claimed he can bowl at 90mph. Australian website reports he took an "astonishing 4 for 10" for Kingston in a 20Twenty match before the Olympics.

However, not everyone wants to see the two athletes lock horns on the cricket pitch. The Sydney Morning Herald says a deal could "trivialise the competition and pose an unacceptable risk to the two greatest sprinters in the world".

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