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T20 is my favorite form of cricket, says Usain Bolt ahead of World Cup in US

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Usain Bolt, the sprint legend known for his speed and eight Olympic gold medals, recently expressed his deep-rooted connection to T20 cricket, citing it as his favorite form of the sport. In a telephonic interview from New York, Bolt reminisced about his childhood in Jamaica, where cricket played a significant role, especially due to his father’s passion for the game. Despite once aspiring to be a fast bowler, Bolt now serves as the ambassador for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup.

“I grew up on cricket. My dad was a massive cricket fan and still is. It is something that I have always in my blood,” Bolt shared. “To actually get to be a part of cricket again as an ambassador, it is wonderful. I never got to live my dream of being a cricketer so to be ambassador of T20 World Cup is wonderful.”

Since retiring from sprinting in 2017, Bolt has maintained his charisma and passion for sports. While busy with travel for music and football, he tries to keep up with T20 matches whenever possible. “I have not been able to watch as much as I would like to but when I get time, I try to catch up on T20s,” he explained.

Bolt’s enthusiasm for T20 cricket stems from his fast-paced nature. “T20s for sure… When they started it was a great idea and still is. It compresses the game because you have to be strong and quick but also be strategic, set a field and get things done quick. To me it combines Test match and one-day together to create the perfect game.”

In the Caribbean, T20 cricket has overshadowed Test cricket in popularity. “I think the T20s and one dayers (ODIs) are still massive in the Caribbean. People actually don’t enjoy Test cricket that much. It is all about the speed of the game, big hitters like Andre Russell, so for me that is the direction that is going in.”

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Bolt also believes that cricket has the potential to grow in the USA. “I surely think the game can grow in the USA. When you have presence in a country people start gravitating towards it and want to know more about it.”

Reflecting on his cricketing idols, Bolt mentioned Wasim Akram’s in-swinging yorkers as a standout memory from his childhood. “Over the years, one of my favourites growing up was Wasim Akram because of the in-swinging yorker that he had. Of course, Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose, all these guys that I admired over the years, were so dominant in their space.”

Bolt, a supporter of the West Indies cricket team, also expressed his admiration for Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara. “Like my father, I always support the West Indies (laughs). But yes, I have also been a Sachin Tendulkar fan. He and Brian Lara were part of my life growing up. It was a great rivalry.”

When it comes to current players, Bolt sees Virat Kohli as the standout cricketer. “Kohli is the standout one for sure.”

In a light-hearted moment, Bolt joked about a potential race with his friend, cricketer Chris Gayle. “We have a running joke right now, me and Chris Gayle (both are close friends), he said actually he can beat me over 100 metres. We are looking to put out a race and see what happens (laughs). When it comes to speed, I am the best, I don’t think there is any cricketer right now that can challenge me (laughs).”

Bolt looks forward to returning to India, his last visit being in 2014, and is excited about the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup.

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