West Indies batting star Chris Gayle has claimed legendary batsman Brian Lara was a worried man when he threatened to eclipse the Trinidad batting maestro’s record in 2005.
Lara set the record for the highest individual Test score of 400 not out when the West Indies played England in 2004. However, a year later Gayle seemed en route to breaking the record in a special innings against South Africa.
In the latest revelation from his recently released autobiography Six Machine: I Don’t Like Cricket . . . I Love It Gayle revealed that the West Indies great did not seem pleased as he approached the mark.
“Some players do care about records. When Brian Lara was out for four in that match, he sat in the dressingroom and read a book. Occasionally he would go out onto the balcony and check the scoreboard, then go back inside. [Ramnaresh] Sarwan was watching him, because he was wondering. And every time Brian came out to see my score getting closer to his record, he looked more and more worried,” Gayle claimed.
“When I came in for lunch and tea he didn’t say anything to me. No advice, no ‘Keep it going’, no ‘Do it for the team’. When I went back out he would go back to that slow shuttle: read inside on his own for a bit, come out to check my score, look worried.”
Gayle went on to be dismissed for 317, well short of Lara’s mark, but went even closer in 2010 when he blasted 333 against Sri Lanka.
Gayle’s book, co-authored by Tom Fordyce and published by Penguin Random House, is replete with some explosive stories of Gayle including several of his encounters with women.
Gayle said people thought he was arrogant and had no attitude towards the game of cricket.
“Maybe they misinterpret things. Maybe it’s the way I bat.
I play a lot of shots, and sometimes I get out. Maybe they think I don’t care. Maybe that’s how it looks on television, or through the pages of an old coaching manual. I play my shots and I get out. I get out on 40 so they say I don’t care as much as the man who gets out on five.”
Gayle said it was perhaps because of their jealousy.
“I am the Six Machine. Twice as many T20 sixes as the next man, the highest score, the highest average, the most runs.
More international one-day centuries than Brian Lara, more Test matches than Ian Botham, more Test catches than Clive Lloyd. I enjoy every day, and I make people happy.”
About women Gayle said: “You’ll always have women out there who’ll want to touch you, want to throw themselves at you.
That’s something you have to handle out there. You get honey traps in cricket too. As part of the game’s regulations we have to attend anti-corruption lessons. They let us be aware that there are stings on the prettiest flowers. Not everything good be great, okay?”
The big Jamaican said girls seem to just gravitate to the way he talks and comes across.
“A woman loves a compliment. They love to hear how good they look. I learned that early. Just spill it out. You see some men thinking exactly as men. It’s not, ‘You want a car, baby?’ Simple little things. Think as a woman. Counsel them. Pay attention to them, and you’re good to go.
“In my later days, if a girl throws herself at me, I’m not interested. Too easy, no fun. When you’re young, anything comes, you go. You have so much energy. It’s all new. It’s all an adventure. Enjoyment everywhere you look,” he wrote.