IPL news July 19, 2011

Bangalore push to retain Gayle


Royal Challengers Bangalore are working on retaining Chris Gayle for the 2012 IPL even though his one-year term with them as an injury-replacement player has expired. Sidhartha Mallya, one of Bangalore's franchise directors and the owner's son, told ESPNcricinfo, "There are ways to keep Chris [Gayle]. We are obviously working on it and looking at every possible opportunity."

Gayle was the architect of a complete turnaround for Bangalore in 2011, arresting a four-match losing streak and setting up a record seven-match victory run that eventually led Bangalore to the final.

Under current IPL rules, contracts for replacement players last only for a single year on the premise that the injured player will be available the following season. Replacement players such as Gayle must go into an auction where all the franchises would be able to bid for them. Gayle's explosive performances with the bat - he was IPL2011's leading run scorer, and had a strike rate of 183.13 - are expected to trigger a bidding war should he be put into an auction.

Mallya, however, said the Bangalore franchise had been in touch with IPL management about the possibility of keeping Gayle, but would only know for certain after the Champions League Twenty20 in September whether they can hang on to him. The IPL, Mallya said, won't give out the guidelines until the Champions League is up. (Sundar Raman, the IPL's chief executive, did not respond to an email asking if the league was considering new guidelines).

Gayle, in 2011, also helped Bangalore's fans come to terms with the departures of Rahul Dravid and Ross Taylor, two favourites who were not retained by the franchise. "There was a lot of backlash but there was [also] a lot of backlash when Shah Rukh Khan didn't keep Sourav Ganguly," Mallya said. "Ross Taylor was a big favourite for Bangalore. The crowd loved him and we thought that would have an effect but when you have players like Chris Gayle and [AB] de Villiers, it was easy for the fans to get over that and they have taken to the new side very well."

Off the field, Mallya said he was not worried by the drop in television ratings this season because, he felt, there was naturally going to be a lag in the wake of India's successful World Cup campaign. He also felt that shuffling the players every few years while allowing teams to retain a four-man core was a good system. "Then it doesn't become like an English Premier League where only one or two teams will keep winning. It makes it (the IPL) even and it makes it open."

Mallya also said that he was satisfied with the amount of input franchises had in the running of the league, "We do get a voice. We are heard... After the season finished, Peter Griffiths of IMG came and spoke to us all. He took our feedback on the season. He was more than happy to listen to us about what our feelings were. Because at the end of the day they want to do what's best for the league, best for us and best for everyone moving forward. "

Bangalore were one of the first franchises to embrace social networking and reach out to fans through contests and competitions and now have more than 100,000 followers on their website and over 12,000 followers on Twitter. What they are still working out is how to get merchandising revenue on a firm footing given that such a short season makes it difficult to generate consistent sales. "I know it is difficult to sell premium jerseys because they are a lot of money," Mallya said. "It is replica jerseys and replica stuff. It is finding a balance of what people want and I think we are still in the process of finding that balance of what people want and going forward I am sure we will be able to give people what they desire."

One potential boost for Bangalore is the Champions League, which gives them a second tournament with which to create fan interest and excitement, as well as pad the bottom line. "It will be huge not only from a financial point of view but from a prestige point of view. I would love to win it. It is the best 10 teams in the world, domestic teams in the world, competing and it would be a great honour for us."

Sidhartha Mallya was speaking as an ambassador of Kingfisher beer

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Silva-Surfa on July 21, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    In response to thegrownup, There's no doubt that the Board are all about control. In their eyes individuals like Gayle and a few others feel they don't need to put in what's required of what the Coach demands, maybe they think because they are established professionals and have made good money from organisations such as the IPL, that their status is unquestioned. Well regardless of whether you agree or disagree, the fact is that the Board still runs things in regards to cricket in the Caribbean and their intitial goal is to have a bunch of players, old and new to put in the hard yards and work as a collective unit. As i said before i'm not questioning Gayle's ability as a player, but it seems pretty simple to me that Gayle's attitude, commitment and priorities are clearly not on the same page as the Board, Management and Selectors. And it's that kind of disruptive influence will have more of a effect on a team, than whatever discipline the Board may lay down.

  • cricchic on July 20, 2011, 17:14 GMT

    It's amazing to see the lengths Royal Challengers Bangalore is going to retain Chris Gayle, and the W.I.C.B is doing quite the opposite...

  • thegrownup on July 20, 2011, 15:39 GMT

    Silva-Surfa -- your response is exactly as so many of us suspected Gayle was not left out by WICB because of performance or even relationship but instead control. as you stated in your post - "the Board is just illustrating that no man is bigger than the team. I for one have no respect for the way the Board does business, but i can understand that they're trying to show, that he is expendable." If WICB is trying to make an example of GAYLE to the team then they are not being fair to him. Trying to use one man to lay down a marker for a whole team an seeking to do so by castigating and destroying the man is not just or fair to the individual. This will also lead to insecurity by others in the team not sure when WICB will do the same to them.

  • Vidoluga on July 20, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    Gayle is the hottest thing in the IPL right now. HURRICANE Gayle with Gayle force wind 333 MPH, ask Sri. Lanka. That is a proven fact. KP never justify him price of 2.5M. Gayle is the fist player to score T20 international century(against South Africa) and the only player to score TWO in an single IPL season and I believe he will be the first to score a double century in an IPL game. So with all these fact I believe his new value is FIVE MILLION (5M)

  • dummy4fb on July 20, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    Bring back Dravid, Utthappa, Manish Pandey, Vinay Kumar, Bharath Chipli to RCB. Likewise all franchises should bring back their local talent. Local talent plus 4 players from abroad, thats the way to go.

  • philibert on July 20, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    I think gayle will be the highest bidder in IPL history, if he should be bid for!!!!!!!!!!

  • vak1997 on July 20, 2011, 11:39 GMT

    RCB must retain gayle. Gayle led them to the final almost single-handedly!

  • dummy4fb on July 20, 2011, 11:18 GMT

    wat ever u do..!!!!!! its chennai who is gonna win .!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! dhoni is gonna win

  • Silva-Surfa on July 20, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    Well there's the future for CH Gayle, crash bang wallop cricket for a high price. I don't bebrudge the man for securing his financial status, but all this talk about how the West Indies will fall apart without his presence in the team, is a statement based on zero proof. First-off i am a big fan of the way he plays his cricket, laidback aggression and style, but the Board is just illustrating that no man is bigger than the team. I for one have no respect for the way the Board does business, but i can understand that they're trying to show, that he is expendable. i 've asked this question before and nobody has answered, since Gayle debuted back in 1999, right up to his last test in Sri Lanka, where have the Windies been in the rankings and how much of a difference has been made overall?...There's no doubt that he's a vital member of the team, but looking at the bigger picture and not my limited insular bubble, things are not working out and it's time to move on.

  • anver777 on July 20, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    With so powerful appearances in the last IPL...at any cost RCB will grab Gayle !!!!

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