IPL 2011 April 25, 2011

Gayle had written off IPL 2011 until Bangalore call


Chris Gayle says he had written off IPL 2011 and was getting ready to resume international duties before being dropped from the West Indies team for the series against Pakistan. Gayle spoke to ESPNcricinfo on the eve of his second IPL game for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Delhi Daredevils on Tuesday.

"It was to be international cricket for me. Had I been picked, that would have been what I would have done," Gayle said. "I didn't have any thoughts about IPL4. I had written off IPL4, rather I was looking forward to its next year. I should have been there (in the West Indies) playing with the national team, but I am here. It is unfortunate but that is how it is."

Gayle said he had never expected to be in this part of the world at this time. The offer to play for Bangalore came "out of the blue at 3 am. After a party." Gayle's IPL arrival was emphatic, with an unbeaten century that set up Bangalore's win against Kolkata Knight Riders after they had gone four matches without a victory. Gayle hammered 102 in 55 balls against his old franchise, leading Bangalore to a nine-wicket win.

He came in to bat at Eden Gardens after having spent the better part of a month without a hit in the nets, working entirely, he said, on physical strength work to recover from an abdominal strain. "An opportunity presented itself, so I am here now to actually do what I can. I have got a good welcome from each and everyone, the players, the owners, and management staff." The abdominal strain? Gayle replied to the question with another one, "What did it look like during the match? That's what it is like now."

In the January IPL auction, Gayle had remained unsold. "It was surprising to be honest when no one took up the bid but based on my knowledge, they said we (West Indies) have a window where we have international cricket at that particular time. So I guess that was the reason, unless there are other things that I don't know about."

Gayle said he did have complaints against the West Indies Cricket Board that had not communicated with him before dropping him for the first two ODIs of the Pakistan series. "I was injured and no one bothered ... haven't I done enough (for the West Indies)? I have given my all and if that is not enough, what is? They left me to fend on my own and I have complaints."

He has followed the progress of West Indies against Pakistan by reading the scores, rather than watching the first of the five ODIs on TV. His interaction with his teammates has been through Blackberry messaging. "I say hi to the guys now and then and wish them well."

Gayle earlier also became one of three West Indian players who did not sign their WICB contracts, becoming freelance players in the several Twenty20 leagues around the world. "I had already pointed out my reasons (for not signing the contract). I thought the contract had too many restrictions and I explained to them (the board) and I explained to the public why I had not signed."

The decision by Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith Malinga to retire from Test cricket and choose the shorter format of the game, Gayle said, had little to do with his own situation. "Malinga and I are not in the same boat - so I don't know what's happening with Malinga." The issues of club versus country, he said, could be easily sorted in most cases through communication. "It's simple, they (boards) just have to work it out as much as possible with the individual and see how best we can all co-operate. At the end of the day everyone can be happy and then we can actually move on and we wouldn't have anything dramatic like this."

A window for the IPL would be the next step to avoid what Gayle called cricket's "confusion" between a lucrative Twenty20 league and international commitments. "You have a window for the IPL just like you have a World Cup window. I'm sure there wouldn't be any fuss. That's something they need to take seriously. I'm sure cricket can actually move ahead and everyone will be happy."

Gayle had earlier said that the WICB had left him with no choice. At the moment though, all he wanted to do was, "win the IPL, be on a winning team. That would be the ultimate at this point in time. To lift the IPL trophy and see what it's like."

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bhanoo on April 27, 2011, 14:42 GMT

    Darren Sammy as captain at home in St.Lucia in an ODI on a public holiday and still empty stands. WICB cannot pull WI out of the hole for 15 years on the field then at least how about making some money at the gates or with TV rights? Hate them or love them but sports are about stars....you don't have stars nobody cares. Gayle, Sarwan, Chanders are stars and will pull crowds, generate interest in the game and mix that with young talent like Darren Bravo, Barath, Roach, Bishoo or a re-emerging Samuels and people will want to watch the games.

    With 100 plus TV channels people don't want to see untested players develop...that is for the league and first class set-up...not Int'l Cricket.

  • Ali on April 27, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    To be honest, Chris didn't do much for WI during the world cup and may be better off just making whatever money he can make. A good player, but not with the consistancy the great players have.

    As far as the IPL vs Nation debate is concerned, it will not be solved unless there are clear rules and guidelines which donot leave the current wriggle room i.e. if you are physically unable to play test cricket .. then retire for god sake !! Malinga's timing leaves a lot of doubt about his true motivations. Chris has always shown that he prefers money over county .. the fact that he didnt sign the central contract says so. So don't go and moan about it .. just be honest ... you wanted the money ... there is no shame in that

  • steve on April 27, 2011, 4:36 GMT

    Gayle how much the west indies board will pay you for one ODI about 100 dollars. even if you play 100 odi's for west indies for rest of your life, you will not get the amount ipl will pay you in a year. your generations will not be without money. stay in india and enjoy the flavour of india.

  • ramu on April 27, 2011, 1:11 GMT

    NO MORE SAMMY, NO MORE SAMMY! To Clive Butts and rest of Selectors, you have to work with what you have NOW- this team should be - Chattergoon, Ganga, Dar Bravo, Samuels, Deonarine, Simmons, Baugh, Russel Roach Edwards Bishoo

    I bet you win the next 3 match.

  • Carlee on April 27, 2011, 1:11 GMT

    We keep hearing field the best team, but even if that is done the WI is not WINNING. WI problems too complex to be solved. Maybe in another 10or 15 years?? i doubt it. Go Gayle the IPL needs you. Without players like yourself the IPL would be dead. Hope when u return to the WI you can show the juniors how to blast a century or just bat to win a match. We can't let experience go to waste. I focus on Gayle only because it is about him and what he has contibuted to WI cricket? Im looking foward to the 3rd oneday go WIndies 3 - nil You will never do worse than what we have done before for the last 15 years

  • Ismail on April 26, 2011, 21:55 GMT

    Chris, without playing for your country you would be an unknown. It was playing for WI that gave you your recognition & your current status in the IPL. The IPL is the WWF of cricket-a sideshow, a temporary glitz & glamour that distracts from the main course. Yet you choose a fringe benefit over a long term career. You were never considered an item in the first place in this latest edition of a circus that is called the IPL. Yet, audaciously, you conjure up accusations against the WICB to re-inforce your selfish decision to partake in this circus. Chris, remember this...the IPL is not cricket as you and I know it to be...it is a Business Broadcast at the highest level, with the BCCI being the sole beneficiary. In what other cricket event (the World Cup included) do you see a Host Broadcaster obligated to have a camera dedicated to show a sponsor's vehicle (the VW) a specific number of times during an innings? Chris, wake up and smell the roses. Life is short; the IPL is much shorter...

  • Ashok on April 26, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    It is shocking how the West Indies Board are treating their star players like Chris Gayle. Chris is easily the most dominanat opening batsman in the world - in the same mould as Sehwag. WI cannot afford to drop Chris from their team in any format of the game.To drop him from captaincy itself was a terrible injustice. Sammy, the current WI captain, in my opinion is a non playing captain. He is neither a batsman nor a bowler and has contributed nothing to the team. He does not deserve a place in the XI. On top of it dropping Gayle is poor reflection on how politic ridden the WI is now. Chanrapal, Sarwan & Gayle Have been the heart of the WI team so far. They are all dropped. Their current batting is poor with Bravo brothers, Smith, Roach and big Ben the remaining stalwarts.Bishoo has been the find along with Rampaul. But having the 3 dropped players + Pollard, in the side will restore batting powerhouse to WI. Common, WI - playing politics isn't Cricket!.

  • Dummy4 on April 26, 2011, 15:42 GMT

    As I said previously WI have been taking beatings for about 15 years after we surrendered to FW trophy to Aus in the Caribbean. Recent history suggests that WITH CG, SC and RS, WI would still do poorly. Are we being selectively oblivious to recent history. WI in Aus 2010(ODI's), SA in the Caribbean 2010 and SL late last year. The WI won a series against Zim where we struggled against the Zimbabwe spinners. I will admit that in my opinion CG is a better player of spin than fast bowling but out of the aforementioned only against Zim did we win any matches. Plus we have the WC. At least one of the "senior" men should have stood up. Did they?. We shouldn't even be having this conversation(if they were performing) but then again we want garanteed positions for inconsistent "seniors".

  • raj on April 26, 2011, 14:19 GMT

    Somehow, I'm not a great fan of this guy simply because his commitment towards the national team is not impressive. May be WI board is main culprit there. But his attitude towards the game is not that good. If WI board really want to make a better side it should go back to its strength . What is happenning the the pace attack. I think Edwards,Roach,Taylor even today can make good pace attack. Problem is I seldom see them playing together. How can S.Ben play in 11. Its high time WI board rethink their strategy towrds game.

  • KRISHNAMURTHI on April 26, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    Anybody can score in below standard formats of cricket like T20 and ODI. So, Gayle century is not a big thing compared to his test match exploits. He should be picked for Test match where the test of batsman's skill go for the real valuation. By not picking him for test matches along with Sarvan and Chanderpaul it is going to be very worst situation for already defeat prone West Indies. Please come on and play like a team and bring back your goldens of 70s, 80s and early 90s.

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