Two Test triple centuries to 10,000 T20 runs: The journey of Christopher Henry Gayle
The Jamiacan King has been the universal boss
Published - Apr 22, 2017 2:24 pm | Updated - Apr 22, 2017 2:24 pm
“I wanted this so badly. It’s a privilege to actually be the first person to get there. The Universe Boss is still here and still alive.”
The simple and easy it looks for the Jamaican hard-hitter, it actually isn’t the huge sixes out of part or rather that strike rate just proves his explosive abilities with the bat. Chris Gayle is probably the most powerful hitter of a cricket ball – he cleared the Lord Tennyson school outside The Oval when he swung Brett Lee. In the same over, he hit one that landed on the roof of The Oval. We are well aware of such sights whenever the giant comes down to bat, a calm mind but has huge nerves of steel to held his head high, look forward and let not the desires fade away from him.
Before the start of the 2017 IPL, Gayle needed 63 runs to reach the 10,000 milestones. No other batsman has ever crossed that feat, with Brandon Mccullum being the second one in the list with 7596 followed by Brad Hodge and D Warner. He scored 32, 6, 22 in the three matches prior to his ‘wow-moment’ innings to actually being the only player in history to get to that humongous numbers. He went on to score a 38-ball 77, with the help of seven sixes and five fours after being a member of his own elite club!
Gayle also became the first player to score more than 10,000 runs in three levels — first-class, list-A and T20s. He has 13,226 runs in 180 first-class matches, 11,694 runs in 336 List A games and 10,074 runs in 289 T20s.In his hour of glory, let’s have an insight on his early career and his best T20 innings of his life. It won’t be easy enough to choose, caution- Can be interrupted by Gayle storm! Tighten up the seat belts!
The story to start –
Just when West Indies have started their downfall from world cricket, emerged a name bright enough to light up the side. Chris Gayle made his international debut for the West Indies against India in 1999 and a test Debut in 2000 against Zimbabwe, proving he is gonna stay for lot while than must be expected. He played a top notch test innings against Zimbabwe scoring his first test ton. Gayle became a permanent spot for opening the innings and kept on his consistency on the field. He ran into a rough patch in 2004 being dropped from the team but he came back with a vengeance, scoring a career-best 317 in Antigua against South Africa. Then came the Champions trophy, the bat and ball had more to offer, scoring 474 runs with three tons, and bagging eight wickets as West Indies reached the final, losing to Australia.
Gayle was made the captain of the Windies side after Ramnaresh Sarwan was injured, he did well as they won a Test match under his leadership against a strong South African side in Port Elizabeth in 2007-08. A mere ODI series loss to Australia made him disheartened enough to drop the captaincy but the tall Jamaican carried on his will, leading West Indies to a 1-0 Test series win over England – thereby bringing home the Wisden Trophy after a gap of nine years. When West Indies toured Bangladesh in November 2012, Gayle became the first player to hit a six off the first ball in the history of Test cricket.
Gayle suffered a hamstring tear on his left leg and was ruled out for long of. He also missed the subsequent away series against New Zealand. Gayle returned for the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh but was far from his usual self. He played his 100th Test at his home ground in Jamaica when New Zealand visited the Caribbean in June 2014. He scored a fifty in that game to mark the landmark occasion, but could not save his side from losing.
Gayle scored 340 runs in the World Cup, which included one ton and a fifty. He hammered a double ton against Zimbabwe and became only the fourth player in ODI history to score a 200. He thumped 215 in 147 balls, which included 10 fours and 16 sixes. It was also the third highest individual ODI score. He also put up a 372-run stand with Samuels, the most ever for any wicket in ODIs.
The T20 Battleground-
Gayle’s long reach helps him to get to the pitch of the ball and he creams deliveries over the infield with audacious shots. He, like other destructive openers, doesn’t have that much skill with his batting or a good coordination that has led to an irregular patch on his career time and forth. Barisal Bulls, Barisal Burners, Chittagong Vikings, Dhaka Gladiators, Jamaica, Jamaica Tallawahs, Karachi Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lahore Qalandars , Lions, Matabeleland Tuskers, Melbourne Renegades, PCA Masters XI, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Somerset, Stanford Superstars, Sydney Thunder, West Indies, Western Australia are all the teams that had helped Christopher Henry Gayle to be part of such an elite club. Gayle was among the players that fetched a commanding price at the inaugural IPL auctions, going to Kolkata.
In 2011, Gayle opted to join Bangalore in the fourth edition of the IPL. Over the next two years, he dominated the 4th, 5th and 6th seasons of the IPL with a fiery batting display making him the most feared batsman. He set records for the fastest century reached in any format of cricket, the highest individual score in a T20 match, and the most sixes scored in a single innings in the IPL- records that cricket lovers can wash their hands on glee!
Due to massive differences with West Indian Board, he remained out of the game for a long time and he featured in several Twenty20 leagues across the globe entertaining crowds with his sassy shots. Until early March, he was playing for Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League. He has also been part of Australia’s Big Bash League, the Bangladesh Premier League, the Caribbean Premier League and even the Sri Lanka Premier League and is also set to feature in the inaugural #T20 Global Destination League, where he is an icon player.
Some of his best T20 innings:
West Indies vs South Africa, Johannesburg 2007
After Graeme Smith sent the West Indies into bat in the opening match of the inaugural tournament, Chris Gayle savaged a brilliant century, one of his most destructive innings scoring 117 from 57 balls. Gayle hit a then T20 record of 10 sixes and seven fours, bringing up his century midway through the 15th over and mercifully departing with 20 balls still remaining. Despite coming in a losing effort, this particular knock remains one of the best T20 matches cricket has ever seen receiving a Man of the Match honours for him
RCB vs RPS IPL 175* off 66
Bringing down the opposition on his knees and an innings well built on others miseries is gonna be remembered forever. Going for 21 in first over against Ishwar r Pandey, for 28 against Mitchell Marsh, Ali Murtaza for 45 in two overs. Well a lot to think upon ,but wait, there’s more-Gayle smashed the fastest century in the format, brought off 30 balls; made the highest individual T20 score (175 not out); struck the most sixes by a batsman in a T20 innings (17); helped Royal Challengers Bangalore hit the most sixes for a team in a T20 innings (21) and reach the highest total in T20 cricket (263). Yuvraj just shook his head as he watched one ball after another sail over the boundary rope. The only interruption to Gayle’s effort was a 33-minute rain interval. He had warmed up before that with two boundaries off Pandey and proceeded to smack him for three more in the same over after the rain relented. He signed off in the match with a Gangnam style gig at picking up two wickets in the only over he bowled.
Other noteworthy ones:
Gayle enjoyed great success in playing for Matabeleland Tuskers in 2011-12 Stanbic bank series. He was the leading run-scorer in that series with 293 runs, a top score of 109, and an average over 50, the best of the tournament.
Gayle also joined the Barisal Burners in the Bangladesh Premier League and has scored two centuries at more than a run-a-ball. Gayle started off his 2013 IPL season scoring 92 not out from 58 balls, hitting 11 fours and four sixes against the Mumbai Indians. His innings helped his side to victory, and he was awarded the Man of the match.
On 2016, in a match with the Adelaide Strikers, Gayle set a new Big Bash League record for the fastest fifty and equalled the world record set by Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh against England in the 2007 ICC World Twenty20. He reached 51 in just 12 deliveries which included seven sixes and smashed the previous record of 18 deliveries set by Strikers batsman Tim Ludeman.
18th April 2017- The wow moment
“Samuel Badree reminded me before the game and said ‘Chris only three more runs to go, make sure you get it’ so it was actually playing on my mind a bit,” he exclaimed. “Once I crossed the line, I said: ‘listen it’s time to have a go and then it eventually paid off, so I am really happy to get the runs.”
Indeed a moment for the world to witness this innings and the day where the first ever someone scored 10,000 runs in this short format of the game. It was definitely not a one day game, but a life- long challenge on the mind and his strikes to edge out among others and be the most destructive batsman of his times in T20. Gayle had the lowest strike rate among openers who had played 50 balls this season before coming into the game. He was kept out of two matches but made a comeback on Tuesday as AB Devilliers missed out of injury.
As seen earlier, he always had a spirit of a comeback and thus led the foundation again on Rajkot. The trigger was Ravindra Jadeja’s second over, in which he hit two fours and two sixes. A 38-ball 77, five fours and seven monstrous sixes, but most dazzled were those three runs that helped him get a recognition for himself.
What did he say?
“People are still looking out for Chris Gayle. The universe boss is still here and still alive,” he said. “It was great fun. You know it’s good to be back. I wanted this so badly, but first of all to get 10,000 runs, it was actually on my mind, so I’m glad to get that sort of achievement. It’s a privilege to actually be the first person to get there. Hopefully, I can continue entertaining the fans.” He added, “It’s not really premeditated, it just comes natural, to be honest. Over the years, a lot of guys spoke to me about my stance. Even Shaun Pollock spoke to me about my stance. You’re never too old to learn.”
He never forgot to thank people who have helped to go out everytime on the field and hit those runs. “I just want to thank the fans and all the franchises where I have actually played around the world. Even playing for West Indies as well. At the end of the day, they have actually played a part in this 10,000 runs as well. So, I want to thank all the franchises. It has been fantastic and like I said still I have a lot more to offer to the fans. Hopefully, I can keep entertaining and get a few more thousand runs under my belt.”
Chris Gayle suffers from an irregular heartbeat. When he had toured India as a youngster he was forced to retire hurt due to this problem. He is definitely one of the coolest men out on the field, even looks cooler with his shots. He is not a much technique oriented batsman but more a man of power, a man to play fiery innings.Who would have imagined a shy 19yrs old boy making his debut in Toronto in 1999 for West Indies would show such rampant rage through all these years?
There have been rumours about his inconsistency, but what actually matters is how he deals with sixes and how a man that has never given up against circumstances. He played his last ODI for the national team on 2015 but has continued to bounce on bowler’s paradise time and after. As he said there’s much more to come, so are we ready to receive such innings every time from the Jamaican stalwart.