New Delhi: Picked for his base price by Kings XI Punjab, Chris Gayle had to wait till the fourth game of the season before the franchise decided to field him in the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League. And while he started with knocks of 63, 104*, 62*, Gayle failed to carry the momentum forward. But the West Indian isn’t done yet and wants to come back stronger in the next edition of the cash-rich league.
While Gayle likes to live life to the fullest, a lot was made of his comment that KXIP mentor Virender Sehwag saved the IPL by buying him. But the Universe Boss told the Mumbai Mirror in an interview that he wasn’t joking and he means that as he has had a lot to contribute in the success of the league.
“It was not a joke, I am serious. You have said IPL needs stars and you have answered the question. I have done so much for the IPL. You look back and see what I have done for the IPL. I had two centuries and won a trophy, still active and playing. You can still see what I have to offer to the game. I love to continue playing in India. This is where a lot of passion lies. There is some fuel in the tank.
“Without a doubt! It was superb to be part of the IPL once more. It is the best tournament in the world. I played for a new franchise, the reception there was fantastic. We had a good start but we lost the momentum in the final stages. Hopefully, next year,” he said.
While he isn’t getting any younger at 39, the Universe Boss feels that Shane Watson showed that age is just a number and experience counts when it comes to any format. In fact, he feels that maybe it was the age factor that saw owners shy away from picking Gayle initially.
“I have no idea. May be it is because of my age. How old is Watson? He has scored two centuries. I am 39 and still scoring hundreds,” he said.
“SunRisers got into the final with their bowling attack and one would have expected them to defend that sort of total (178). But they were hit by Shane Watson, he played a magnificent innings. That is what you call a big match player, it was a big match.”
Gayle revealed that he was not at all worried about going unsold in the auction. “No, no, no. I was not surprised. Whether it was the first or last minute (being picked) does not matter. But I don’t have too many expectations in life. You have to prepare yourself for disappointments. I have seen these things happen in the IPL. I was not actually following the auction. It was early morning for me back home in the Caribbean.”
Controversies and Gayle have gone hand in hand. And after his last one with anchor Mel McLaughlin during the Big Bash League where his comment “Don’t Blush Baby” had him in trouble in Australia, Ian Chappell had proposed a ban on Gayle. The former Australia skipper had asked Cricket Australia to take note of the "totally inappropriate" behaviour.But Gayle has now taken a dig at the former cricketer and asked: "Who's Ian Chappell?"
Talking about West Indies cricket, Gayle said: “The World Cup is coming next year. We had to qualify for the World Cup. We will see what happens after that (the World Cup). The youngsters are coming up. We’re in a rebuilding process. It is going to take a while, it is not going to be over overnight. We’ve lost a lot of experienced players but life goes on. No player is going to play forever. At some stage, everybody has to depart the game. I will continue to wish West Indies cricket all the best.”