Updated: April 30, 2018 6:59:34 pm
Chris Gayle said that the powers that be at Royal Challengers Bangalore had called him and told him that they want to keep him in the team for the ongoing 2018 edition of the IPL. “I was their biggest draw. 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,” said the 38-year-old Jamaican in an interview with Times of India.
Gayle had managed to score just 227 runs off 10 matches in 2016 and 200 off nine in 2017. While he was unable to tick in the previous two seasons of the IPL, Gayle pointed out that he had performed well elsewhere in the time between the last edition of the tournament and the current one. This season, playing for Kings XI Punjab, he has played just four matches and has already scored 252 runs, even accounting for the first century of the season. “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,” he said.
Gayle’s poor performances in the previous two seasons and his dwindling contributions in T20I matches for West Indies may have contributed in him first not being retained by RCB and then going unsold for the first two rounds of the IPL auctions held in January. “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,” Gayle before squaring off with his typical Universe Boss swagger, “Perhaps it was supposed to happen, you know. King Gayle; destined to be playing for Kings XI Punjab.”
Gayle was not selected for the first match and was brought into the line up in place of Marcus Stonis. He formed a lethal opening partnership with KL Rahul and the two smashed a whirlwind 96 off 48 balls in a match against Chennai Super Kings earlier this month.
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