West Indies’ swashbuckling batsman Chris Gayle is all set to represent the defending champions Kerala Knights in the second edition of the T10 League, started on Wednesday (November 21).
Ahead of the competition, Gayle expressed his delight at playing for Kerala – the state which gone through a disastrous flood situation earlier this year. He wants to put a smile on the face of Kerala folks by winning the T10 title.
“I want to help Kerala Knights win the T10 title to bring joy to those affected by the floods in Kerala. This T10 format is entertainment as well and I am sure that if the people who get a chance to tune into television and watch Kerala Knights give a swashbuckling performance, I am sure then each and everyone will get entertained. There are many entertainers in the team and everyone should be looking forward to the event just like I am,” Gayle said in an exclusive interview to Gulf News.
The Jamaican was also a bit surprised that the name of Kerala Kings had to be changed from the first edition to Kerala Knights.
“The change of name to Kerala Knights and at a time when the King [Gayle] has just arrived surprised me but it is good to be a part of Kerala. I looking forward to especially to play for the defending champions,” he added.
Gayle also opened up about his connection with the Kerala state.
“During my stint with IPL, I had a chance to visit Kerala. It was fantastic and a great experience. I enjoyed being in the Kerala’s backwaters, experience their food and culture — all were phenomenal. I have got a lot of friends from Kerala as well, like Kerala player Sachin Baby. So some way or other I am associated with Kerala and when the flood actually happened Baby reached out to me to post it and get some help for Kerala. Today I am here representing Kerala and thanks to the owners who felt that my presence will make another addition to win the Cup again,” he asserted.
Without a shadow of doubt, Gayle is the most sought after cricketer in cash-rich leagues all around the world. In fact, he played an instrumental role for Balkh Legends as they were crowned winners of the inaugural edition of Afghanistan Premier League in UAE last month.
“To be honest with you, it is tough to be travelling. Only a few weeks ago, I played in the APL in Sharjah and went back home. There I had some sad news as my mum passed away. It took me a week to get myself together. Then I went for the South Africa T20 league, played one match for them to give it a bit of boost as well. Here I am back to Dubai again to be part of the T10 League,” he said.
Gayle is now looking forward to hitting some big boundaries in the T10.
“Normally I take a while and have a look before hitting sixes in T20 games. In T10 we cannot waste too many deliveries and must get on with it right away. So if I get a chance I will go for sixes,” Gayle said.
He concluded by talking about the iconic Sharjah stadium.
“It’s a great stadium and I have been playing there since 1999 when I started to play for West Indies. So for more than 18 years, I have been coming regularly and it has always been a good hunting ground,” he signed-off.