Chris Gayle — The Greatest T-20 Cricketer!
Chris Gayle has been playing International cricket since 1998 and has achieved so much in all formats of the game. He is one of only four (4) players in the history of test cricket to make two triple centuries and has scored over 7000 test runs.
His numbers are even more compelling in One Day International Cricket (ODI), scoring over 9500 runs, inclusive of 23 centuries. He is the West Indian batsman with the most ODI centuries and the only one to score a double century in ODI Cricket.
These numbers alone put Chris Gayle among the great West Indian batsmen of all times, but there is another format of Cricket called T-20 that has been utterly dominated by the “Universe Boss.” He is arguably the first great of the T-20 game, and I will put forward arguments to support this claim.
Probably the main reason why Chris Gayle can be regarded as the first great of the T-20 game is due to his mind-boggling numbers in the format. He has scored over 11000 runs, with 21 centuries! No other batsman in the history of the game has scored ten centuries, and Brendan McCullum is the next best in terms of runs scored with 9039 runs.
The fact that Gayle has been so dominant in the game in all the T-20 Leagues across the world for ten years, scoring at least one century in all but the Big Bash League makes him comfortably a great of the T-20 by his sheer numbers. No one even comes close in that regard!
Another reason why Chris Gayle is the first great of the T-20 game is due to his impact on the growth of T-20 cricket. The combative yet calm way in which he goes about his business has made him probably the most famous player in the history of T-20 Cricket.
Whenever he is playing in a T-20 game, there is a level of anticipation from the crowd when he is coming out to bat, which is comparable to the reception that past greats of test cricket Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara use to get.
The only other modern-day players that get similar receptions are AB De Villiers, Virat Kohli, and MS Dhoni. He has played a pivotal role in the evolution of the T-20 game by redefining the science of six hitting and making scoring a century in the format a norm rather than an exception. No other batsman has had such an impact in the T-20 format.
Chris Gayle has also been a leader in the entertainment aspect of the T-20 game, he plays the game with a constant smile and has created some signature dance moves and celebrations that have left an indelible mark on the T-20 Game. Due to his influence, the T-20 crowd now expects to be entertained whether it is with a massive six or with a thrilling dance move, it is now all a part of the game!
Finally, T-20 cricket is more exciting, more profitable and continues to attract new audiences every year. This growth can be to an extent credited to the influence of the talismanic Chris Gayle who has been there from the start and continues to influence the format that he has admitted is his favorite.
We can only hope that this strapping and powerful batsman can play the T-20 game for a few more years, but whatever he does, there is no doubt that he is the first great of the new format of cricket called T-20!