Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 26th 2013 Contents A54
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, September 26, 2013
DUBAI---The giant figure is as
awe-inspiring as one finds him on
the crease, but Chris Gayle speaks
ever so softly during an interview.
"Thank you for getting me to
Dubai, it s been a while since I have
been here," the most destructive
batsman in contemporary cricket
said in response to my customary
Clad in a casual T-shirt, bermudas
and with his shades on, the Jamaican
seemed to embodying the Caribbean
spirit onto the lounge of Park Hyatt
Hotel---where he is staying on a per-
sonal visit lined up with a number
of commercial commitments.
The deadpan demeanour easily
breaks into an obliging smile while
meeting fans or photographers even
as he was settling down for an exclu-
sive interview with Gulf News.
The last year and-a-half had been
an eventful one for Gayle, during
which he came back to mainstream
cricket again after a self-imposed
exile due to his differences with the
establishment and is enjoying every
bit of it.
At 34 years, Gayle is very much
a professional cricketer who has been
there and done that (he was the
national team s captain between
2007 and 2010 and has already spent
13 years in international cricket), but
still sounds motivated enough to
deliver in all formats of the game.
In a wide-ranging interview dur-
ing, Gayle fielded questions on a
range of issues, from his comeback
to international cricket to activities
of his foundation.
Following are the excerpts:
Question: The team will certainly
be depending heavily on you during
the short tour of India next month.
How are you looking forward to it?
Answer: Yes, I am really looking
forward to the two Test matches.
We have had a good break but it
will be worktime again when we
regroup together and do the rebuild-
ing stuff. Personally speaking, I have
never played a Test match in India
and hope it can give me a good start
to the season.
Q: The two-Test series will also
see Sachin Tendulkar playing his
200th Test match. Having played
enough cricket against him, What s
your comment on the master bats-
man reaching the landmark?
A: It s a great achievement to play
200 Test matches. I have played 97
and I can tell you the toll it takes on
the body. The man has scored so
many runs over such a long period
of time and still has a tremendous
work ethic ... he s an absolute mas-
Hopefully, we will try to get him
out as early as possible but his fans
will not be happy. Overall, I hope it
should be a good series.
Q: It s been nearly one and-a-
half years since you have made a
comeback in the West Indies team
after the issues with the cricket
board. How does it feel to be con-
tributing to the national cause
A: I must say the comeback has
been good so far. We have won six
consecutive Test matches and hope-
fully, can make it seven in a row by
winning the first one against India.
I feel I still have a lot to offer to West
Indies cricket in all formats of the
I have been through the world and
been around with the team for 12-
13 years now, but I am still feeling
good and hopefully can continue for
some more time. I still want to score
the double and triple hundreds ...
Q: I was fortunate enough to be
present at the Premadasa Stadium
in Colombo last year when your
team won the T20 World Cup and
you seemed to be completely over
the moon. Was it only celebration
or out of a sense of restoring some
pride for the country?
A: It s been a big moment for us
really as we had not won something
in a while. It was a fantastic expe-
rience and hopefully, we can defend
the title next year. There is, however,
a long way to go and lot of cricket
to be played before that.
Q: In a recent interview, Brian
Lara said as an elder statesman of
the West Indies team, you should
now a mentoring role in the dress-
ing room ...
A: We have quite a few youngsters
at the moment but at the same time
but I feel it s better if they learn
quickly rather than having somebody
Yes, I am always available for dis-
cussion and any advice if needed.
We all communicate well, there is
always a buzz in the dressing room
and the team is doing well.
As I said, winning six Test matches
on the way is a big improvement for
us and we are now looking forward
to seal the seventh one in India.
Q: You have been really a talis-
manic figure in the Indian Premier
League (IPL) with the memories of
that brutal 175 last season still fresh
in our memory. How has been the
IPL journey for you?
A: It s not only been good for me
but for all international cricketers.
There have been quite a few West
Indian cricketers who have played a
big role in the IPL and have been
fine entertainers like (Kieron) Pollard,
(Dwayne) Bravo and Sunil Narine.
Kevon Cooper came in recently
and also grabbed the opportunity
with both hands. I am happy for the
guys and it s been financially reward-
ing for them as well.
Everybody is looking forward to
the next season and hopefully, it will
continue in the same vein.
Q: The inaugural Caribbean Pre-
mier League T20 has also been a
big success. Do you think it can
emulate the IPL some day?
A: Definitely. I think this had been
the best organised league after the
IPL. It s a wonderful experience, lot
of people did not know what to
expect but everything fell into place.
The turnout was fantastic and the
quality of cricket was good.
Q: While the young fans are
overwhelmed at your dominance
of the T20 game, one gets a feeling
that you often haven t got your due
as a Test batsman of the highest
I want to do more in all formats,
there is no doubt about it. However,
People tend to remember you more
for what you have done recently
while what you have done in the
past is often forgotten. Its no big
deal for me but when I walk away
from the game, I can look back with
pride as an entertainer in all for-
I know what I have done, I don t
need anybody to tell me about it. I
have done lot of great things in all
Q: Your shirt number 333 in T20
is said to be a reminder of one of
your triple centuries. Is that a kind
of style statement?
A: Yes, it was my second triple
hundred, while the first one was
against South Africa. I was not in
the best of form and I wanted to
score a century against Sri Lanka as
I did not have a hundred against
them. I started aggressively and once
I got to three figures, I wanted to
make it a big one. It was a moment
of pride for me.
Q: How is your Chris Gayle
A: It s a new initiative through
which we have opened an academy
in England and Spartan has played
a part in clothing of the youngsters.
Back home, I grew up playing for
the Lucas Cricket Club and I want
to build budding cricketers from this
Q: What is usual piece of advice
to any kid wanting to be a bats-
A: They have to play their own
way and not follow anybody. The
bottom line is you have to enjoy the
game but one has to be disciplined
and put in a lot of hard work to reach
a level. Always remember, anything
is possible if you are willing to work
hard for it.
me as an entertainer
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