West Indies pace bowler Sheldon Cottrell did not make his debut for Kings XI Punjab in the team's Indian Premier League (IPL) opener but received a warm reception nonetheless after being given his cap by none other than T20 legend Chris Gayle.

In typically flamboyant style, Gayle welcomed his countryman to the team with a short march and salute.  The celebration style has been made popular by the fast bowler who treats fans to the salute every time that he takes a wicket.

The 31-year-old former soldier was bought for a whopping INR 8.5 crore ($US1,156,239) by Punjab during the IPL 2020 auction.  The player joined the IPL after taking part in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).  It was not smooth sailing for Kings XI on debut.   Chasing 158, Kings XI needed 13 from the last over bowled by Australia Marcus Stoinis. Mayank Agarwal started the over with a six followed by a couple and a four, thereby equalling the score.

Now, the KL Rahul-led side required just one run to win off three balls. But in a significant twist, Punjab failed to score. The game went to the Super Over where DC successfully defeated KXIP.  Gayle was also not a part of the team picked for the opener.

Universe Boss Chris Gayle is excited about the release of his new music video done in collaboration with British Indian singer Avina Shah. 

Jamaica Tallawahs CEO Jeff Miller believes Andre Russell will be back with the team for the 2021 season of the Hero CPL, despite the latter’s outburst earlier this year that this would be his last season with the team.

Newly crowned 2020 Hero CPL champion Darren Bravo, losing captain Darren Sammy and T20 record-setter Chris Gayle are among 150 players in a pool awaiting selection for the Lankan Premier League set to run from November 14 to December 6.

Shahid Afridi and Trinbago Knight Rider’s Colin Munro are also in the pool for the player auction set for October 1.

Under the rules governing the Sri Lankan T20 league, each franchise can buy up to six international players.

However, according to reports, there are still some loose ends to be tied up before the auction can take place. Among them government approval for a shorter quarantine period for players, officials and broadcast staff.

SLC officials are asking that the quarantine period for those arriving for the tournament be reduced from 14 to seven days.

 

West Indies T20 star Chris Gayle could become the first batsman to hit 1000 T20 sixes if his uncanny obsession for clearing the boundary rope continues in the upcoming IPL season.

Currently, the 40-year-old big hitter has tallied a total of 978 sixes in T20 cricket so far.  If he can add another 22 to his 326 IPL sixes, the batsman will repeat the all too familiar habit of writing his name in the T20 cricket record books.

Gayle will be odds on favourite to achieve the feat as well.  In 11 seasons of IPL cricket to date, he has never failed to hit 22 sixes.  Last season he cleared the boundary rope 34 times and 27 times in the previous season.  Should he reach the tally it would only add to an already impressive resume racked up for the format.

Gayle has scored the most runs in T20 cricket (13,296), has the highest score (175), most sixes in an innings (18), and the fastest 100.  He has also hit the most fours with 1,026.

The West Indian is currently in training camp in Dubai, where he is preparing to face the new IPL season with Kings XI Punjab.  The batsman had been slated to take part in the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL) for beaten finalist, St Lucia Zouks, but pulled out of the competition due to personal reasons.

West Indies T20 star Chris Gayle is free to join the Kings XI Punjab training camp, ahead of the new IPL season, after twice testing negative for the coronavirus.

The 41-year-old may have had cause for concern after reports suggested that he attended the celebrity-filled birthday party of sprint star Usain Bolt last week.  Bolt tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday.

"Couple days ago. 1st COVID-19 test...Before travel I need 2 negative test," Gayle's Instagram feed read. In another post, he wrote, "The last one went a bit too far in my nose. Phew. Result was negative."

"I'm going to stay home for 2020... not gonna travel again...nah sah! Tan a mi yard!! Keep the change! Excuse me!" he added.

The player will, however, be subject to more testing once he arrives in the UAE, where the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be staged this year.

On arrival, Gayle will receive a test at the airport, followed by six days of isolation.  During that period, he will be tested on days one, three and five.  Players and all personnel that will be part of this year’s competition must be cleared before they can enter the biosecure bubble.  Gayle had been expected to take part in this season’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL), where he would have represented the St Lucia Zouks, but opted out of the competition.

 

 

 

West Indies players account for the lions share of those considered the best to ever play the game as SportsMax completed its Ultimate XI T20 team ahead of the start of the Hero Caribbean Premier League on Tuesday.

A combination of a panel of experts, the SportsMax Zone, and fans who voted online called fanalysts completed voting on the SportsMax Ultimate XI team with a final discussion on three impact players.

The final six players from which the three were chosen were West Indians

Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, and Andre Russell, Australian Shane Watson, Pakistani Shahid Afridi, and Indian Yuvraj Singh.

The panel, made up of cricket commentator and broadcast journalist, Fazeer Mohammed, cricket umpire Chris Taylor, and statistician, Zaheer Clarke, picked an all-West Indian cast as their impact players, in complete agreement with the SportsMax Zone and Fanalysts.

There was one dissenting voice among the panellists with Fazeer deciding on Shane Watson over Kieron Pollard, however, Clarke and Taylor’s votes were enough to overrule him.

With all parties, the Zone, the panel, and fanalysts in agreement, the final list of the greatest T20 team of all time is complete.

The openers are Chris Gayle and David warner, the middle-order, batsmen 3-5 are Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the bowlers are Sunil Narine, Rashid Khan and Lasith Malinga, while the impact players are Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Powell and Andre Russell.

The Ultimate XI T20 team is made up of five West Indians in Gayle, Narine, Bravo, Pollard, and Russell, while Kohli and Dhoni make up the Indian contingent. Then there is the South African representation in de Villiers, one Australian in Warner, a Sri Lankan in Malinga, and the Afghan Rashid.

A panel of experts has decided that a pairing of Christopher Henry Gayle and David Warner would represent the best openers the T20 game has ever seen.

According to Zaheer Clarke, statistician, Chris Taylor, cricket umpire and commentator and noted cricket commentator and journalist, Fazeer Mohammed, Gayle’s body of work over the course of his career in the T20 game made him the first name on any list of all-time greats in the format.

The panel were picking from a final six after 13 shortlisted players were whittled down on Wednesday.

The six who made the final were Gayle, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Aaron Finch, David Warner, and Brendon McCullum.

While Gayle was a shoo-in on all the panellists books, there was a little difficulty in picking who would partner him.

According to Fazeer Mohammed, Finch would make a good partner for the big left hander, while Taylor and Clarke felt that Warner would do more damage up front with the Universe Boss.

The panel’s decision counts for 40% of the overall vote on who makes the SportsMax Ultimate XI, while the SportsMax Zone, like an online voting audience, has a 30% stake in proceedings.

This means there are still some decisions to be made with Gayle, by virtue of bagging votes from the Zone and the panel being selected as one of two Ultimate XI T20 openers.

The uncertainty about who will make up the other part of the pairing lies in the fact that the SportsMax Zone did not agree with the panel on who should partner Gayle, instead going with India’s Sharma.

Gayle stands head and shoulders over every batsman to ever play the T20 game with 13,296 runs behind his name at a healthy average of 38.20 from 404 games. Gayle strikes at an incredible 146.94 and has a whopping 22 centuries and 82 half-centuries in the format.

Sharma, who the Zone has picked, from 328 games has 8,642 runs at an average of 32.24 and has scored six centuries and 60 half-centuries.

Warner has not played as many games as the two, but enjoys a 142.20 strike rate from his 280 games, and has scored 9,218 runs, inclusive of eight centuries and 75 half-centuries already.

The choice is tough and may come down to who you like, as Lance Whittaker says, he is a Sharma fan.

To make your choice regarding who makes the SportsMax Ultimate XI, click here. Maybe like George Davis, you think the Zone is crazy for not picking Warner. If you want to learn more about the players, you can click here.

Considered the greatest T20 batsman in history, Chris Gayle has been a dominant force in the format for more than a decade.

He is the proud holder of many records in T20 cricket including most centuries (22), fastest T20 century, most sixes, and highest individual score in a T20 match. He was also the first cricketer to score a century in all three formats of the game – Tests, ODIs and T20.

In 404 T20 matches, Gayle has scored 13,296 at an average of 38.20 with a fantastic strike rate of 146.94. In addition to his 22 centuries, Gayle has also score a whopping 82 50s as well.

The closest batsman to Gayle’s record of centuries in Twenty20 cricket (22) is Brendon McCullum who has 7 and 15 of his 22 T20 centuries have been not out.

Gayle’s success can be attributed in large part to his outstanding hand-eye coordination, which allows him to regularly hit even good-length deliveries for boundaries. No batsman has taken to the 20-over format like he has. He showed early signs of his liking for that format by smashing the first century in Twenty20 internationals - a 57-ball 117 against South Africa in the World Twenty20 in 2007 - and when Twenty20 leagues mushroomed the world over and sought international stars, Gayle was the biggest beneficiary.

Over two seasons - 2011 and 2012 - of the IPL, he became easily the most feared batsman of the league, smashing more hundreds and sixes than any other, by far. When he carted Pune Warriors all over the ground to score an unbeaten 175 in IPL 2013, it felt right that he should finally own the record for highest individual score, fastest century, and most sixes in a Twenty20 innings, because no batsman has dominated Twenty20 cricket like he has.

 

Career statistics (2005-present)

Full Name: Christopher Henry Gayle

Born: September 21, 1979, Kingston, Jamaica (40)

Major teams:  West Indies, Balkh Legends, Barisal Burners, Chattogram Challengers, Chittagong Vikings, D Ganga's XI, Dhaka Gladiators, Dolphins, Hooper XI, ICC World XI, Jacobs XI, Jacques Kallis Invitational XI, Jamaica, Jamaica Tallawahs, Jozi Stars, Karachi Kings, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lahore Qalandars, Lions, Marylebone Cricket Club, Matabeleland Tuskers, Melbourne Renegades, Rangpur Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, RR Sarwan's XI, Somerset, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Stanford Superstars, Sydney Thunder, Vancouver Knights, West Indies Under-19s, Western Australia, Worcestershire.

Batting style: Left-hand bat

 

T20I Career (West Indies)

Mat        Inns        NO         Runs      HS          Ave        BF           SR           100        50         

58           54           4             1627      117        32.54     1139      142.84   2            13

 

T20 Career

Mat        Inns        NO         Runs      HS          Ave        BF           SR           100        50         

404        396        48           13296    175*      38.20     9048      146.94   22          82

Career highlights:

  • Most runs in T20 cricket (13,296 at 38.20)
  • Most runs by a West Indian in T20Is (1627r- avg. 32.54)
  • Most centuries in T20 cricket (22)
  • Most runs in a T20 match innings (175*)
  • Fastest century in any official format of the game (30 balls)
  • IPL player of the tournament 2011
  • IPL Orange cap winner for most runs 2011 & 12
  • Has scored a century in all 3 formats of the game (two T20I tons)

With the West Indies faltering badly in their first innings to eventually fall to England in the second Test of the #raisethebat Series, I thought it interesting to look back at a game where the West Indies used their first innings to ensure a game that could have gotten away from them, didn’t.

It turns out that maybe the game would not have had a result anyway, but the West Indies weren’t to know that and their performance to pull themselves out of trouble, was memorable.

In December of 2008, a powerful New Zealand Test side could find no way past a game West Indies and interestingly, the tone for the fight the visitors would put up came from the bat of Jamaican pace bowler Jerome Taylor.

It was the first Test of a two-match series and the West Indies had long been missing the names of the cricketers that made them great.

Though those names, Clive Lloyd, Viv Richards, Brian Lara, Malcolm Marshall, were no longer around, the proud legacy they left behind meant even this ‘watered-down’ version of the West Indies would not be pushovers.

The West Indies were sent into the field first up and despite three wickets apiece from Daren Powell (3-68), Fidel Edwards (3-91) and skipper Chris Gayle (3-42), things were off to a rocky start.

New Zealand would put 365 on the board on the first day, thanks to 95 from Daniel Flynn and 89 from Jesse Ryder.

No play was possible on day two of the Test and when the West Indies went to bat, the conditions for batting had changed.

Still Gayle was at his aggressive best, slamming 74 from 103 deliveries to get the run chase off to a rollicking good start. However, Sewnarine Chattergoon (13), Ramnaresh Sarwan (8), and Xavier Marshall (20), did not stay very long.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul, however, would bat with, of all people, pacer Jerome Taylor, to give West Indies a chance at staying in the game.

Before Taylor came to the crease, Chanderpaul, who would eventually make 76 from 200 deliveries, lost the services of Brendan Nash for 23 and Denesh Ramdin for five.

Now he was batting with the tail, the score was 173-6. Even with a day rained out, this game could have been over in a jiffy.

But Taylor wasn’t in the mood to give up the ghost and scored an almost run-a-ball century, slamming 17 fours and three massive sixes, to end on 106 from 107.

Nobody else scored a run and so the West Indies crept, or rather, blasted their way to 340, a deficit of just 25.

Rain made sure there was no play on the fourth day and much of the fifth day, with New Zealand, 44-2 in their second innings before the game came to an end.

But Taylor’s batting made sure there was little chance of New Zealand running away with the game and provides an example of some of the heroics current West Indies coach, Phil Simmons, will be hoping to see with today’s batsmen when the team meets England in the decider of the #raisethebat Series.

I’m a Chelsea fan.

Now that is not a popular thing to be in my native Jamaica but I’ve been one since 1995, some 25 years ago.

I was not a fan of what used to be English football and at the time, the only team in the Premier League with any international flavour was Chelsea.

Chelsea boasted a squad with one English starter in Dennis Wise and were the only team in England that played with the type of flair I had grown up seeing from my father’s team of choice, Brazil.

Arsenal had not yet become the free-flowing team it became popular for and Manchester United, though winners, were not a target of my fancy.

But Chelsea, for all their beautiful football, were a mid-table team at best.

When they started to win, courtesy of an injection of cash from Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, they lost some of that flair.

Players like Gianfranco Zola, Ruud Gullit and Gustavo Poyet were no longer there and Jose Mourinho had turned the team into something resembling a machine that built cars to exacting specifications. Still I delighted in their success. Now they’re losing again and cannot seem to compete with the might of the Manchester Cities and Liverpools of this era. They have returned to playing with some flair but I cannot be completely happy with all the changes they have made to date.

But I will likely remain a Chelsea fan for the remainder of my time on this planet.

The same is true of the Jamaica Tallawahs. I fell in love with the Tallawahs much, in the same way, I fell in love with Chelsea.

I understood franchise cricket in much the same way I did club football and would have chosen any of the six teams in the CPL to be ‘mine’.

But just as I became a fan of the way the dread-locked Gullit would marshall his midfield and later Zola would turn a game on its head with a moment of brilliance, I could not get enough of big-hitting innings from Chris Gayle.

It was for this reason and this reason solely that I became a fan of the Tallawahs but I cannot now abandon them because, just as in club football, franchise cricket will witness changes.

And there have been a myriad of changes to the Tallawahs since the start of the Hero Caribbean Premier League, some seven years ago.

Now, there is no Chris Gayle, and the latest squad seems a far cry from the exciting days of the big left-hander smacking balls onto the roof of the North Stand at Kingston’s Sabina Park.

Still, I will remain with the Tallawahs as any true fan of a team should.

And maybe, despite the many changes, this Tallawahs line-up has a chance.

They do have more balance than they have had in recent years.

For a while, the Tallawahs batting was their strength but they had to bat teams out of games. Whenever they failed to get more than just a competitive score, they were certain to lose. In fact, I think they have the ignominy of sporting some of the highest losing totals in the competition's history.

This year may be different.

Fidel Edwards is an experienced fast bowler, who, along with the pace of Oshane Thomas, could pose some problems for their opposition in the league.

The Tallawahs also have something they have been missing for a few years now as well. An incisive spinner. Tabraiz Shamsi is the type of slow bowler the Tallawahs may just need. A left-arm wrist spinner, Shamsi is aggressive, with his 19.8 strike rate suggesting he will take wickets in the middle overs where the Tallawahs have been found wanting over the years.

Allrounder Carlos Brathwaite can provide both batting and bowling for the Tallawahs on the odd occasion, while Veerasammy Permaul can also do a job.

Now, I wouldn’t venture to pick the Tallawahs line-up but they have last season’s leading runscorer for them, Glenn Phillips, who should partner Chadwick Walton. The two can be explosive and put any team on the back foot. In the middle order, there is exciting Pakistani batsman, Asif Ali, as well as the power of Rovman Powell and Andre Russell. On a given day, any of those names can hurt an opposition, but there is the question of consistency.

That question has plagued the Tallawahs for years even though they have won the CPL twice.

But on those two occasions, they had Chris Gayle and even though he may not have been the man to provide the finals-winning performances, he did come up with innings of real class that helped them in getting through the season.

Last season the Tallawahs finished last and it is no surprise that Gayle had a poor run throughout.

Without him, the Tallawahs seem less dangerous, but I am still rooting for them. They’re my team and seem more balanced than ever before, even without the mighty Chris.

Former India opening batsman turned cricket pundit Aakash Chopra has excluded West Indies batsman Chris Gayle from an All-time XI IPL squad, opting in favour of a more ‘consistent’ David Warner.

Gayle, the big Windies left-hander, has his name etched on a host of IPL records and accomplishments at the top of the order in the IPL.  The opening batsman has the tournament’s highest individual score (175), most sixes (326), fastest century and the most 100s (6).  The Australian, however, has 222 more runs overall, in one more match than Gayle, and has also scored the most 50s with 44.

While acknowledging Gayle’s explosiveness as an opener, Chopra explains he chose Warner based on consistency.

“My first pick is David Warner, the first overseas player as an opener. You will also think of Chris Gayle, but he is not more consistent than David Warner,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

“He [Gayle] has been explosive but Warner is not behind anyone. So, Warner as one of the overseas players. He has been one of the most consistent batsmen ever.”

Mystery spinner and sometimes pinch hitter Sunil Narine was the only West Indian to make Chopra’s XI, with the former opener also finding no place for another big hitter and fan favourite Andre Russell.

 

Aakash Chopra’s All-time IPL XI

  1. David Warner
  2. Rohit Sharma

       3. Virat Kohli

  1. Suresh Raina
  2. AB de Villiers
  3. MS Dhoni
  4. Sunil Narine
  5. Harbhajan Singh

      9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar

  1. Lasith Malinga
  2. Jasprit Bumrah

I use my Sundays to look back at what has been happening in the world of sport. On many a Sunday, I realise that people have looked at the stories they have seen throughout the week through different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT.

Let’s not Pressure Cornwall

Former West Indies batsman Philo Wallace in an interview on the Mason and Guest radio show welcomed the inclusion of spinner Rakheem Cornwall in the final match-day squad for the Test tour of England. Wallace described the Antiguan as the “match-winner” and “trump.” In my opinion, Cornwall has immense potential but to call him a match-winner is simply putting too much pressure on the young man who is new to this level and format of the game.

The 27-year-old off-spinner has so far played two Test matches for the West Indies. He took three wickets against India on debut before claiming 10 wickets in his one-off Test against Afghanistan. During the recently concluded practise match in England, Cornwall took one wicket and scored two runs. Is this a sign that he is already feeling the pressure of expectation?

Based on Cornwall’s limited Test-match experience, I would suggest that we allow him time to settle as a member of the Test squad. I strongly believe Test cricket is a completely different level of the game and playing against England will not be a walk in the park as they are at home and hungry for a win.

Chris Gayle Opting out of CPL – A Surprise!

The 2020 Hero CPL will be different without the Universe Boss. As a journalist and a cricket fan, I will miss the energy that he brings to the games although I respect highly his personal decision not to play, especially in light of the COVID 19 pandemic.

Last Monday, Gayle communicated his decision to the St Lucia Zouks by email saying he would be unavailable.

In the email, Gayle pointed out that due to the lockdown he was unable to meet his family and his young child who are in St Kitts because he was in Jamaica. Gayle said he needed a break and wanted to spend time with his young family.

Who can fault the cricketer for this, especially considering the recent turn of events?

Gayle signed up with the Zouks in April after an acrimonious split with Jamaica Tallawahs. Based on the fallout with the Jamaica Tallawahs, I was expecting fireworks from the T20 superstar. I was expecting him to use his frustrations as fuel to score heavily this CPL.

Meanwhile, Gayle's abrupt decision will have disrupted the Zouks' plans for the players' draft, conducted virtually for the first time because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The Zouks signed Gayle as one of the marquee players outside the draft in the US $130,000 - 160,000-price bracket. In his absence, the franchise is likely to get the first pick at the draft now.

 Mediation should have been the TTFA's first choice

 Having taken Mediation Studies at the post-graduate level, I believe mediation is a viable option for settling the dispute between FIFA and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA).

Frankly, I am surprised that it was not utilized earlier. It is cheaper than heading to the courts, especially based on the reported financial situation of the William-Wallace administration finds itself in.

FIFA dissolved the Wallace-led executive on March 17, 2020, less than four months after the latter had been on the job. They were replaced by a normalisation committee led by local businessman Robert Hadad. The committee has been mandated to oversee the affairs of local football and reducing the TTFA’s crippling $50 million debt.

Mediation, though informal and flexible, could play a big part in shaping the outcome of the dispute. In the case of the TTFA, they would be presented with a chance to influence the outcome of the process while getting a listening ear from FIFA.

In addition, at the heart of mediation is the preservation of the long-term relationship between the parties. Should the TTFA have gone this route earlier things may not have been as messy as it is presently.

Congratulations! Well-deserved Liverpool

How can one be upset when a team wins a major title after 30 years of disappointment and frustration?

How can one question a team that has dropped only seven points in 31 matches so far this season? How can one not celebrate a team that has claimed a title with seven games to spare?

Hearty congratulations to the Reds, who might have experienced some anxiety because of the uncertainty of completing the season because of COVID 19. Credit must go the manager Jurgen Klopp, who took over from Brendan Rodgers in 2015 when the team was 10th in the league table. Though it has taken him five years to win English football's biggest prize, Klopp's impact on Liverpool was immediate. "We have to change from doubters to believers,” were his striking words during the press conference where he was introduced as the club’s new manager.

Overall, Liverpool has been a consistent group and as Klopp said, “They are confident because we won, but they are humble. If they stay humble, we have a good chance to be successful.” Congratulations boys!

 

 

 

 

 

The St Lucia Zouks have confirmed that Chris Gayle has opted out of the CPL, 24 hours before the 2020 Draft is scheduled to take place.

West Indies star Chris Gayle has come out in defense of former captain Darren Sammy who recently expressed anger and frustration with incidents that might have been deemed racist during his time India Premier League (IPL) club Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Sammy recently accused several of his former teammates of a racist gesture after realizing the nickname he given, ‘kalu’ did not mean what he thought.  The West Indian cricketer has insisted he believes the world meant strong and admits he was hurt that he later called himself by that name and expressed hope that he had not been the butt of a joke.

 By various definitions the term literally means blackie and is on occasion used to describe black-skinned people in India.  Although the incident happened in 2014, Gayle insisted that it was never too late to right a wrong.

It's never too late to fight for the right cause or what you've experienced over the years! So much more to your story, Darren Sammy. Like I said, it's in the game," tweeted Gayle who has played for Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab in the IPL.

 Both Gayle and Sammy have spoken out in support of the racial injustice protests currently sweeping across the globe.

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