Christopher Henry Gayle is a living legend in the world of cricket. He was born on 21st September 1979 in Kingston, Jamaica. He has played for the West Indies National Cricket Team since 1999.
But before that, he left cricket lovers a lot of achievements to cherish forever and set a lot of milestones for the younger generations of cricketers. Today, we will take a look at his achievements in two completely opposite formats of cricket- the shortest format i.e. T20, and the longest format i.e. test cricket.
‘The Universe Boss’ of Twenty20 Cricket!
Chris Gayle scored the 1st century in the history of T20I cricket! He holds the highest individual score in an IPL match! Aptly named, ‘The Universe Boss’!
Unmatched Batsman in T20 International Cricket
While this statement is about the latest format of cricket, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have amazing records in the other two formats. But this achievement has definitely gone down in history as one that can never be challenged. He scored that 1st century– 117 runs- off only 57 balls against South Africa in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2007.
Gayle is a nightmare even for the thriftiest ballers, be that opening pacers or mid-innings spinners- he is sure to smash out the economic run rate. He is blessed with terrific hand-eye coordination. For this reason, he can smoothly hit boundaries even with some of the best-length deliveries. His tall, overpowering physique combined with the capability to carve through the covers of his both feet made him this terrifying a batsman.
Achievements in League Cricket
Although he is not famous for his techniques & footwork, when so many T20 league tournaments started to take place with so many teams around the world, Chris Gayle was the most sought-after batsman. He was the scariest batsman of all the ballers in the Indian Premier League over the two seasons of 2011 & 2012. He hit more boundaries and centuries than any other batsman.
In 2013 he played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore and scored a monstrous innings of 175 runs, not out, from only 66 balls against Pune Warriors. The strike rate was 265.15. In that innings, he hit 40 boundaries combined of thirteen 4’s and seventeen 6’s! Imagine what it felt like to witness such a legendary moment that no other batsman has managed to touch yet!
He has played in different T20 leagues for different teams in countries like India, Bangladesh, Australia, Zimbabwe, and West Indies. But like any other cricketer, he loves most to play for the national team of his country and win the championship for the same. He mentioned that of all his achievements as a cricketer, the proudest ones were the championship won for West Indies in the T20 World Cup in 2012 & 2016.
‘and the, what do you call it now, the Champions Trophy, when we beat England at the Oval. I’ve achieved a lot of individual stuff. Two triple-centuries, playing a hundred Tests, you know, I could go on and on, but overall I will cherish winning titles. That’s key. That’s why we play the game.’
- Chris Gayle
A Horse of the Long Run
Just because Gayle is unmatched and unchallenged in the short form of the game, doesn’t mean that he is not as good in the longer form i.e. Test Cricket. He has some of the shortest century records in test matches under his cap.
4th Batsman to Score 2 Triple Centuries!
South Africa scored 532 runs in the 1st innings of the 3rd test match held in January 2004 in Cape Town. In reply to that, for the West Indies, Chris Gayle scored a century in just 79 balls. His total score in that innings was 116 runs before giving away his wicket in a leg.
There is more evidence of his long hours batting as he was looking forward to making big scores. In Adelaide in 2009 against Australia, he batted for 7.5 hours and remained not out. He scored 165 runs in that one. His impressive batting prowess was observed, yet again, in the very next match when he scored the 5th fastest test century off just 70 balls.
Next year, it was time for Sri Lankan ballers to experience the Gayle storm. In the Gall test, he scored a destructive 333 runs off 437 balls before Ajantha Mendis finally came to the rescue of his team to bowl him out. He hit 45 boundaries in that innings- thirty-six 4’s and nine 6’s. This was the 4th time a batsman achieved such a feat- a triple century for the second time in one’s test career.
The Sixes by Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle has hit the most number of sixes in all three formats of cricket combined together- a record that no other batsman in history has managed yet. He has hit 553 sixes, so far, in his career- 98 in test matches, 331 in ODI matches, and 124 in T20I matches. And, including all the league matches, the total number of sixes hit by this man is more than 1,000 in T20 matches!!!
Another record this king of boundaries holds under his cap is the 10th longest 6 hit in the T20 international cricket. It’s a bit interesting for he is massive in size, yet is the 10th when judged from the perspective of length. He hit a 116 m long Six in a match against India in the T20 World Cup of 2010. Yusuf Pathan was the poor baller to be the victim of this hit.
Chris Gayle entered the world of international cricket through one-day or 50-over matches in 1999. He played his 1st test match in 2000. The last time he played an international T20 match was in 2021. After that, he clearly stated that he has no interest in returning to international cricket, although he hasn’t really announced retirement yet.
It is needless to mention how much West Indies cricket, how much international cricket misses him! But every good thing comes to an end eventually and we, the fans, cannot be thankful enough to the league cricket through which we still get to see this legend hitting one boundary after another, scoring massive runs in a short period of time! We wish ‘The Universe Boss’ a very happy & healthy birthday.