The Indian Premier League (IPL) future of West Indies star Chris Gayle remains in doubt after new stipulations from the competition’s governing council confirmed that a team can retain up to a maximum of five players ahead of the new season.
The 38-year-old seemed unlikely to be retained by the Royal Challengers Bangalore ahead of the new campaign following a disappointing last two seasons where he played 19 matches in total and only managed to score 447 runs. The 2016 season was particularly disappointing as Gayle played nine matches but only managed to score 196 runs with the highest score being 46.
Gayle the all-time T20 runs scorer was surprisingly omitted from this year’s Pakistan Super League (PSL), but rebounded with a strong performance in the Bangladesh Premier League) (BPL). Gayle force was in full effect in Dhaka during the 2017 final as Rangpur Riders beat Dhaka Dynamites to claim the title. Gayle scored 146 runs from just 69 balls. It was an innings glittered with 18 sixes, a world record for the number of sixes in a T20 match.
Gayle also performed heroics in the eliminator match against Khulna Titans, where he amassed a 51-ball 126, including six fours and 14 sixes. Both Gayle’s centuries came after the IPL Governing Council (GC) confirmed the changes. Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers are expected to hold the team’s number one and two spots but, with such kind of innings coming from Gayle’s willow, RCB might be pondering on retaining the player if he was not previously in their plans as the third player for retention.