‘It’s sad when people just forget all that I’ve achieved’ in Test cricket, says Chris Gayle

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Gayle may have started a new fashion trend of batting with sunglasses

West Indies flamboyant opener Chris Gayle is renowned for arguably being the best Twenty20 entertainer on the planet, but the big-hitting Jamaican recently admitted that he feels “sad when people just forget all that I’ve achieved” in Test cricket.

“I have been giving my all for West Indies for 13 years now,” Gayle told The Indian Express. “So it’s sad when people just forget all that I’ve achieved for the Caribbean and use such derogatory terms. I have scored runs and won matches in Test cricket as well. There are other cricketers too who get bracketed in that category. It’s unfair but you can’t stop tongues from wagging.”

Gayle, who recently led the Jamaica Tallawahs to victory in the inaugural edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), believes that the tournament will continue to flourish in the years to come.

“It’s the future and is growing bigger and bigger every day,” he said. “Test cricket will survive, but you have to be realistic and accept things as they are.

“You can come to the ground for two-and-a-half hours knowing that you will be enthralled for every minute you spend there. It’s become a serious business now. You have everyone from movie stars to celebrities coming in and trying to have their own piece of the pie.”

While the CPL may have captured the attention of the cricketing community worldwide, it wasn’t the only thing everyone was talking about as the vast array of sunglasses Gayle wore during his innings with the Tallawahs grabbed just as much of the limelight and perhaps even hinted at a future fashion trend to come.

“The CPL has a good look,” he said. “So I needed one too. The IPL is obviously bigger than all other leagues put together. You have so many stars playing together. The CPL does have a long way to go but we’ll get there.”

The 33-year-old has contracts with numerous domestic Twenty20 sides around the world, but revealed that he still finds it difficult to adjust from the conditions of one city to another.

“I have been with (IPL franchise) Royal Challengers Bangalore for a few years now so that connect is there,” he said. “But it’s difficult to just go somewhere and feel the pulse of that city. I just go with an open mind.

“It’s not easy, landing up in a dressing room on short notice and having to get acclimatised immediately. I have been doing this year after year. And I have got used to the whole process. The secret is to not put pressure on yourself to fit into the ecosystem. The best way to make a mark is by winning matches for the team.

“The expectations are massive. They don’t just want runs or sixes from Chris Gayle but he has to entertain with bat, ball and in the field. Luckily, I love having fun and ensuring that the fans and everyone is getting their money’s worth.”

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