All-time best overseas IPL XI

All-time best overseas IPL XI

The overseas players not only elevate the quality of cricket being played, but they have also helped IPL become a global brand, and perhaps even the most competitive tournament in the sport.

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers plays a shot. (Photo Source: Twitter)

While the Indian Premier League is India’s premier T20 league and has over the years been a platform where a number of young Indian players showcase their talent to the cricketing world, the star power in the league has surely been added by the overseas players.

The overseas players not only elevate the quality of cricket being played, but they have also helped IPL become a global brand, and perhaps even the most competitive tournament in the sport.

AB de Villiers, South African legend, and a player who is currently playing for the franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore had said in an interview in May 2019, “Nothing comes close to the IPL, to be honest. I know I am sitting in India and busy playing in the IPL, so it’s easy to say. But I have played in quite a few (tournaments) now across the world. I think it’s better than the World Cup.”

The Indian youngsters are benefitted immensely too as they get to rub shoulders with the best in the business and gain from their experience. In IPL, a Playing XI cannot consist of more than four overseas players. But what if we were to make an all-time overseas IPL XI? Across 12 seasons, 293 overseas players have been picked in the squads of various IPL teams, with several legends having played the game.

Let’s look at the XI who have been phenomenal across seasons and played a crucial role for their respective teams:

1. Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle. (Photo: IANS)

The first name on the team sheet, The Universe Boss’ inclusion in this team is perhaps the most obvious. Gayle, the greatest T20 player ever has a phenomenal record in the IPL. He has scored 4484 runs in 125 IPL games, at a brilliant average of 41.13 and a Strike Rate of 151. Gayle has been one of the biggest stars of IPL across the seasons. He truly captured the public’s imagination smashing bowlers as though it’s a walk in the park.

His brute power was at its peak when he scored in excess of 600 runs for 3 consecutive seasons from 2011-2013. His innings of 175*, the highest ever score in T20 in 2013 is one of the most iconic IPL moments. When at his best, nobody invoked as much fear in bowlers as Chris Gayle did. He has also been one of the greatest entertainers in the league making the audience love him with every passing season.

His IPL career did not start off with as much success though as he played 16 games for Kolkata Knight riders from 2009-2010 but couldn’t produce match-winning performances and henceforth wasn’t even picked by any team in the 2011 auction.  As fate would have it, one of RCB’s players got injured, and Gayle was called in as a replacement.

With a lot to prove to the world, Gayle smashed a 100 in his very first match, and as they say, rest is history. Currently, Gayle plies his trade for the Kings XI Punjab and while he’s well past his prime, Gayle is still one of the biggest hitters of the white cherry.

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