I was RCB’s biggest draw, it was disappointing not to be retained – Chris Gayle

In 2011, Chris Gayle, having spent three seasons with Kolkata Knight Riders, had surprisingly remained unsold during IPL players’ auction. He had written off the IPL that year and was getting ready to resume international duty for West Indies, who were scheduled to take on Pakistan. But then, out of the blue, Gayle received a call from Royal Challengers Bangalore, who had named him as replacement for Dirk Nannes after the left-armer was ruled out of the season with a side strain. The rest, as they say, was history. Not only did Gayle end up becoming RCB’s most impact player with 3163 runs across seven seasons, but his stint also played a crucial role in making RCB a much-followed franchise.
Fast forward to 2018 and a similar situation unfolded. Having endured a mediocre 2017 season with RCB (200 runs in nine matches), no franchise refused to put its money on Gayle, before Kings XI Punjab – who had already formed the core of the team – with two crore remaining in their purse, ensured that Gayle had a team to represent in IPL 2018. And the result: 4 matches, 252 runs, strike rate of over 151 and an unbeaten century. “Gaylestorm” is indeed alive and kicking.
It required Gayle just three innings to once again become IPL’s hottest property. The big-hitting Jamaican took time out to get into an exclusive chat with TOI Sports, and spoke on a range of topics, including the IPL, his fitness, whether he was surprised to see no franchise backing him, his experience being part of the Kings XI Punjab dressing room and more. Four innings in this edition of the IPL and three of them have resulted in a fifty or a hundred. Is it safe to say that Chris Gayle has proved his detractors wrong?
I don’t know if I’ve actually proved them wrong. There are always going to be doubters but at the same time I didn’t have anything to prove. My records speak for themselves. Even though I was selected in the very last round of the auction, I wasn’t really worried about it. Even if it was the end of it, there is life… a life beyond cricket, beyond the IPL. At some stage, you are going to walk away from the IPL and other forms of cricket. So I was never too intrigued. This is how I’ve always been, living in the present. But given the sense that I was picked up and playing for a new franchise.
, it was very pleasing. And the way I have played in the first three games, I think it has been fantastic. I’m very happy with where I’m at.