MOHALI, India – Superstar opener Chris Gayle has taken aim at detractors following his scintillating hundred yesterday, contending he had nothing further to prove in his career.
The 38-year-old blasted an unbeaten 104 off 63 balls – his 21st Twenty20 hundred and sixth in the Indian Premier League – to help Kings XI Punjab end Sunrisers Hyderabad’s unbeaten campaign with a 15-run defeat.
“A lot of people thought I’m too old. After this innings, I have nothing to prove,” said the veteran West Indies left-hander.
“Time waits for no one but I’m not here to prove anything to anyone. I just want to move on, enjoy my cricket.”
He added: “I’m not really here to prove it to anyone. I’ve done it all before. Been there, done that. Just here to put some respect on the name.”
Gayle was released by Royal Challengers Bangalore after spending seven seasons at the franchise and scoring 3 636 runs at an average of 41.20 from 101 matches, and gathering five hundreds.
However, he managed only 200 runs from nine innings last season, prompting speculation his immense powers were on the wane.
In a shock development, Gayle nearly missed out on this year’s IPL campaign, after going unsold in the first two rounds of bidding during the auction last January.
And just when it appeared he would have no takers, Kings XI came in for the charismatic Jamaican at his reserve price of US$314 000 and in his only two innings so far, has repaid their faith in him with scores of 63 and 104.
“I’m always determined. I always give it my all for whatever franchise I represent,” said Gayle, the only batsman in world cricket with over 10 000 T20 runs.
“I’m a 100 percent. Like I said, it’s a new franchise. A lot of people might say that Chris has a lot to prove – he didn’t get selected or picked early in the auction. I think Virender Sehwag has saved IPL by picking me. This is a brilliant start.”
Behind Gayle’s phenomenal efforts, Kings XI’s victory lifted them to third in the IPL standings but level with leaders Kolkata Knight Riders and second-placed Sunrisers on six points.
Gayle will now pit his talents against KKR – which includes Windies teammates Sunil Narine and Andre Russell – when Kings XI travel to Kolkata for their next fixture tomorrow.
The self-proclaimed ‘Universe Boss’ of cricket, Gayle said his focus was already on the KKR contest.
“Overall, [I’m] happy with the win and now [time to] move on to Kolkata,” he noted.
“It all depends on the mood and conditions is also tricky as well. Playing so many years in India, I know what the conditions are like. I am glad to get a hundred …”