“It was disappointing from that end, because they had called me. They wanted me in the team and I was told that I will be retained. But they never called back after that. So that gave me the impression that they didn’t want me and it’s fine. As I said, I can’t fight with anyone. I think I had a wonderful CPL and BPL – where I scored two centuries for my side Rangpur Riders. The stats don’t lie: 21 centuries, most number of sixes. If that doesn’t put a stamp on brand Chris Gayle, I don’t know what will,” Gayle told the Times of India.
Commenting on the initial rounds of the auction where Gayle went unsold, the batsman said: “I’ll be honest in admitting that it was very surprising for me to not get picked by any team. I don’t know what went behind closed doors but I also understand that these things happen. It’s just the way it is. But it’s fine. I’ve moved on from it. Like I said, it’s a great opportunity to be playing for King XI Punjab and so far I’ve had a great time. Perhaps it was supposed to happen, you know. King Gayle; destined to be playing for Kings XI Punjab.”
While the batsman is now rocking the cash-rich league, Gayle says that he wouldn’t have been affected had nobody picked him in the auctions. “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 a life beyond cricket, beyond the IPL. At some stage, you are going to walk away from the IPL and other forms of cricket… 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,” he said.
Winning this IPL and taking West Indies to glory in the 2019 World Cup are his two major goals. “Just two things: winning the IPL this year and the World Cup for West Indies next year,” he said. “I believe West Indies have a big chance of winning the World Cup in 2019. I know we struggled in the qualifiers but now that we’ve made it, our next aim is to win it. But right now it’s definitely the IPL. KXIP have never won it. Our owner Preity Zinta is so fantastic, so enthusiastic. The way she roots for her players is just amazing and I think she needs to lift the IPL trophy this year.”
First Published: April 30, 2018, 4:22 PM IST