Chris Gayle is the quintessential Caribbean cricketer. He parties hard, plays harder, jokes and laughs a lot but also breaks records as a diehard habbit. For those who have followed his career from his young days it has come as no surprise that he has blasted his way past the 14,000 run mark in T20 cricket which is his favourite format of the game.
By doing so, the swashbuckling batsman from Jamaica has added yet one more feather to his already crowded cap. The self-proclaimed ‘Universe Boss’ became the first ever batsman to cross that milestone in T20 cricket. He achieved the feat during the third T20 match between West Indies and Australia recently.
Gayle struck form in spectacular manner and in his typical flamboyant style decimated the bowling attack. He hammered 67 runs off 38 balls and helped the West Indies to beat Australia by six wickets.
Gayle, now 41 years old, has not been in great form of late. He had scored only 41 runs in his last five innings and was not able to score a single run off his first three deliveries. But once he got going, the Aussies did not know where to bowl. He blasted 18 runs off the next four deliveries bowled by Josh Hazlewood. Gayle also targeted Adam Zampa, as he scored 22 runs off six balls and raced to his fifty. Gayle was eventually caught by Wade off the bowling of Riley Meredith after he had hit 67 with the aid of four 4s and seven 6s.
After the match he gave a statement which was a warning to all rivals.
“My main focus now is the World Cup. Don’t mind the numbers, Chris Gayle not getting the runs, soon to be 42, you guys should be happy to see Chris Gayle on the field still. Just respect the ‘Universe Boss’ playing some cricket and having some fun. Enjoy the moment with Chris Gayle with a strong West Indies team,” said Gayle.
So it is clear that the old warhorse is not yet finished. Cricket fans can expect some more fireworks from him in the future and rival teams had better take care. When Gayle goes after the bowlers they feel like they are caught up in the midst of a cyclone and being blown away.
Abhijit Sen Gupta is a seasoned journalist who writes on Sports and various other subjects.