Chris Gayle — Christopher Henry Gayle (born 21 September 1979 in Kingston, Jamaica) is a West Indian cricketer who was captain of the West Indies cricket team and plays domestic cricket for Jamaica. He is a hard-hitting left-handed opening batsman with a wide-range of shots, and bowls useful part-time right-arm off spin. Gayle is a successful One Day International player, with over 200 appearances for his country and 19 centuries. He is also a successful Test batsman, averaging just over 40.00. As a prominent one day player, Gayle was chosen by the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League. He has recently finished playing in the third season of the IPL.
A thrusting Jamaican left-hander, Gayle earned himself a black mark on his first senior tour – to England in 2000 – where the new boys were felt to be insufficiently respectful of their elders. But a lack of respect, for opposition bowlers at least, has served Gayle well since then. Tall and imposing at the crease, he loves to carve through the covers off either foot, and has the ability to decimate the figures of even the thriftiest of opening bowlers.
In a lean era for West Indian cricket – and fast bowling in particular – Gayle’s pugnacious approach has become an attacking weapon in its own right. His 79-ball century at Cape Town in January 2004, on the back of a South African first innings of 532, was typical of his no-holds-barred approach. However, Gayle’s good run ended when England came calling early in 2004, and he averaged 26 against their potent pace attack – Steve Harmison, in particular, fancied his chances against Gayle, dismissing him four times in seven innings, as a lack of positive footwork was exposed. But men with little footwork often baffle experts, and after returning to form with an uncharacteristic century against Bangladesh, he exacted his revenge on England’s bowlers with a battering not seen since Lara’s 400, before coming within a whisker of emulating Lara himself, with a career-best 317 against South Africa in Antigua.
In the disastrous 2005-06 tour of New Zealand he led the batting in the three-Test series, piling 235 runs – no other West Indian touched the 200-run mark. He also bowls brisk non-turning offspin, with which he has turned himself into a genuine one-day allrounder. Maturing quickly, he has become a consistently prolific scorer in the ODIs. He averaged over 40 in the 2006-07 season with three hundreds – an unbeaten 133 against South Africa in the Champions Trophy being the highlight, and three fifties. But expected to be one of the stars of the World Cup in the Caribbean, his batting was a major disappointment. In the absence of the injured Ramnaresh Sarwan for their tour in 2007, Gayle was handed the captaincy for the limited-overs series in England and Ireland and found immediate success by beating England 2-1. He also led in the Test series against South Africa, leaving with a 1-1 result, and was retained as captain ahead of Sarwan for the home Tests against Sri Lanka in 2008.
A subsequent Test and ODI defeat at home against Australia led him to quit the captaincy, but he changed his mind, and the following season was instrumental in the defeats of England, both as captain of the Stanford Superstars in their winner-takes-all US$20 million match in Antigua in November, and the Test team that secured a 1-0 triumph to bring home the Wisden Trophy after a nine-year hiatus.
On 17 December 2009 in the Australia v West Indies 3rd Test Chris Gayle scored the fifth fastest century in Test match history. He reached the century in just 70 balls. However he was shortly after dismissed for 102 runs. This feat included a flurry of runs thanks to some big hitting sixes. One of the sixes hit the Lillee Marsh stand’s roof in a monstrous hit that was estimated by commentator, Ian Healy, to be approx 140 metres long. On 16 November 2010, he became the fourth cricketer to score two triple centuries in Test cricket after Donald Bradman, Brian Lara and Virender Sehwag.