Usain Bolt, the legendary sprinter and eight-time Olympic champion, has always had a fondness for cricket. The Jamaican star has previously claimed that cricket, rather than athletics, was his first love, but that he selected the latter as a career choice due to his father’s guidance. However, after making a reputation for himself throughout the world with his lightning-fast speed on the track, the 35-year-old is aiming to join the Indian Premier League, the world’s richest cricket league. Bolt’s home country of Jamaica has already produced cricket stars such as Chris Gayle and Andre Russell.

“My father is a big cricket fan, but when I was in high school, I had to choose between cricket and athletics. Because of the system in Jamaica, my father advised me to pursue athletics. In athletics, you just have to run fast, whereas getting into the national (cricket) team is more difficult,’ Bolt told AFP during a promotional tour to India in 2014.

Bolt admitted in a recent interview with Hindustan Times that he would like to get “fit and ready” for the IPL in the future. “Definitely. I’ll get to work on my training. I’ll get in shape and prepare. Football and cricket were the two most popular sports in Jamaica at the time. My father was a huge cricket fan, so I was a huge fan as well. He would watch it every day, and if he had the chance, he would watch all of the teams play, so I grew up watching cricket. I used to be a huge fan of the Pakistan cricket team when I was a kid. Waqar (Younis) was one of Pakistan’s greatest bowlers, and as a bowler myself, I loved watching him bowl. “I was a great Pakistan fan until I realized as I got older that I should support my local team,” Bolt explained.

The IPL is likely to be a 10-team affair in the 2019 season, as the league found two additional franchises in the shape of Lucknow and Ahmedabad after a vigorous bidding procedure. A mega auction will precede the next iteration, which is expected to take place in late December or early January.

The existing eight teams have submitted their list of retained players, and the new teams now have till December 25 to select a maximum of three non-retained players – no more than two Indians and one international – before the mega auction.