By Arunabha Sengupta
The news came as a bolt from the blue. Or should we say a fraction of a second slower than a Bolt?
Dashing entrepreneur Vijay Mallya has sprinted past competitors and signed Yohan Blake for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The Jamaican sprinter, who has gone on record saying he can bowl faster than Zaheer Khan, will be donning red and golden yellow to turn out alongside his Jamican buddy Chris Gayle in the next season of the yearly extravaganza.
“We have always admired fast men from Jamaica,” Mallya declared in a press release. “Michael Holding and Courtney Walsh have been my all-time favourites. There is no reason why Blake cannot emulate them.”
When quizzed by pressmen about the rationality of employing sprinters as cricketers, Mallya was quick off his blocks, “It was a well-thought out decision. As the owner of Kunigal Farm, I know a thing or two about studs who race. I can guarantee Blake’s success. He has shown the world that he has speed. All he needs to work on is to release the ball at the end of his run. We have Venkatesh Prasad to guide him for that.”
RCB director Sidhartha Mallya added, “When Blake voiced his willingness, we wasted no time to sign him. And this has been done before. I am informed that Milkha Singh did play Test cricket for India.”
It was left to the Team mentor Anil Kumble to clarify that the media managers of the unit had confused India’s pioneering Olympic athlete with the former left-handed batsman of the same name.
“But, cricket does have more than a spurious connection with athletics,” the legendary leg-spinner added. “WG Grace was a champion 400 yard hurdler and CB Fry had been a joint world record holder for the long jump. Also, Middlesex cricketer Alastair McCorquodale won the silver medal in the 4×100 m relay at the London Olympics in 1948. Given that Blake won silver at this year’s London Olympics, we have history on our side.”
In further stunning developments, late night reports came in from reliable sources about a bidding battle that has been launched between Shah Rukh Khan of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Nita Ambani of the Mumbai Indians for the services of Usain Bolt.
“At least one spot for an all-rounder is open,” Trevor Bayliss, the KKR coach, informed us, obviously hinting at Yusuf Pathan’s repeated failures last season. “In 2009, Bolt hit Gayle for a six and then rattled his stumps during a match in Jamaica. He will be the ideal answer to RCB’s Blake.”
(Arunabha Sengupta is trained from Indian Statistical Institute as a Statistician. He works as a Process Consultant, but purifies the soul through writing and cricket, often mixing the two into a cleansing cocktail. The author of three novels, he currently resides in the incredibly beautiful, but sadly cricket-ignorant, country of Switzerland. You can know more about him from his author site, his cricket blogs and by following him on Twitter)