By Philem Dipak Singh
New Delhi: Jun 29, 2011
Yearning to see Sachin Tendulkar play, Olympic and world champion sprinter Usain Bolt said on Wednesday, he can relate to the Indian cricket icon when it comes to dedication and aggression.
Asked about the qualities he admires in Tendulkar, Bolt said, "Tendulkar is obviously dedicated. He is aggressive but calculated and knows how to make runs."
"He (Tendulkar) also plays for the fans ... really similar to what I do," Bolt told PTI in an e-mail interview.
Tendulkar recently met tennis great Roger Federer during the ongoing Wimbledon Championships in London and Bolt said he would be game for a similar meeting with the Indian.
"I hope to be able to watch him play sometime in future but I don't have any plans to meet him at the moment. He is always welcome to come and watch me run," said the Jamaican triple Olympic and World Championships gold medallist.
Bolt described Tendulkar as one of the greatest cricketers but picked fellow West Indian Vivian Richards as the greatest of all time.
Asked to take his pick among Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Vivian Richards, Garfield Sobers and Shane Warne, Bolt said, "That is a difficult one, they were all great in their time, but I think I would give the edge to Sir Vivian Richards."
Bolt said just like Tendulkar, he also has to deal with the expectations of millions of his fans but the adulation motivates him.
"I use it (pressure of expectation) as a positive. It is nice when so many people are interested in what you do and concerned by the outcome. I find it motivating," said Bolt, the world record holder (9.58secs) in 100m.
Bolt's famous 'bow and arrow' celebration pose was imitated by the Indian cricket team during the recent World Cup and he said he felt honoured.
"It is a great honour when someone else copies my pose. I have seen it in cricket and football and it makes me smile every time," he said.
Bolt explained that his running schedule was the reason he skipped the Commonwealth Games here last year but would look forward to run in India in future.
"The Commonwealth Games could not have been part of my schedule due to the time of year when they were staged. I normally end my season in September, rest in October and then start training in November for the following season. I would like to run in India in the future," he said.
"My coach and agent make all decisions about where I race. We look at the overall picture taking into consideration our major goals. Nobody tries to influence us to run in competitions that are not part of the schedule."