Chris Gayle reminds world of Test cricket performance

| August 28, 2013
Archiman Bhaduri for CaribDirect

Staff Writer – Archi

In West Indies cricket news, Chris Gayle is the epitome of the present generation of journeymen cricketers — some call them freelancers — who go around the world representing a plethora of franchises in the shortest format.

The last few weeks have been a unique experience even for Gayle when he led a franchise based out of his homeland, the Jamaica Tallawahs, to the inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title.

“It’s not easy. Landing up in a dressing-room on short notice and having to get acclimatised immediately. I have been doing this year after year. And I have gotten used to the whole process. The secret is to not put pressure on yourself to fit into the ecosystem. The best way to make a mark is by winning matches for the team,” he said.

Despite his unprecedented success for almost every franchise he’s been a part of, Gayle admits that the constant shift of loyalties is disconcerting. And the best way to deal with it, he says, is just going about your business in the most professional manner possible.

“I have been with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League for a few years now so that connection is there. But it’s difficult to just go somewhere and feel the pulse of that city. I just go with an open mind,” said Gayle, who’s played for seven franchise teams and in all scored 5702 runs at 43.86 in Twenty20s.

But being the top dog in the business comes with its pressures, and the affable Jamaican is forever expected to be an entertainer.

“The expectations are massive. They don’t just want runs or sixes from Chris Gayle but he has to entertain with bat, ball and in the field. Luckily, I love having fun and ensuring that the fans and everyone is getting their money’s worth,” he said.

Chris Gayle

Photo courtesy cricket.yahoo.com

For all his superstardom, Gayle has attracted immense criticism from various corners for having led a revolution against the traditional values of the sport. Some have even called him a mercenary.

“I have been giving my all for West Indies cricket for 13 years now. So it’s sad when people just forget all that I’ve achieved for the Caribbean and use such derogatory terms. I have scored runs and won matches in Test cricket as well. There are other cricketers too who get bracketed in that category. It’s unfair but you can’t stop tongues from wagging,” he stated.

The runs may not have quite flowed from Gayle in the CPL but he still remained one of the highlights of the tournament with his Jimi Hendrix look, headband and all. And he gets into his cool-cat element while talking about the carnival atmosphere of the CPL.

“The CPL has a good look. So I needed one too. The IPL is obviously bigger than all other leagues put together. You have so many stars playing together. The CPL does have a long way to go but we’ll get there,” he hoped. “We have more cheerleaders here in the Caribbean than anywhere else. And the prettiest ones too,” he added.

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Category: Sports, WICB

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