Archiman Bhaduri for CaribDirect

Staff Writer – Archi

The Indian Premier League has not only caught the fancy of the people in India only, but it has its followers all over the world now.

As the world’s richest Twenty20 league kicked off in India in the first week of this month, there’s one man sitting miles away and following every game ball by ball.

A self-proclaimed fan of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and a friend of Chris Gayle, West Indian sprinter Yohan Blake has been a livewire on his Twitter handle @YohanBlake, ever since the tournament kicked off. 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.

Chris Gayle: "I have served West Indies for many years"

Chris Gayle: “I have served West Indies for many years” © Associated Press

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.

Blake, who played cricket during his earlier days and continues to play for Kingston Cricket Club during off season, still swears his first love is cricket.

Looking back at his career, he said “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.”

Yohan Blake Jamaica

Yohan Blake. Photo courtesy www.gq-magazine.co.uk

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 Lords, 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.”