Image courtesy of: Zimbio
West Indies opener Chris Gayle has claimed that the Royal Challengers Bangalore told him he would be retained for the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
However, this did not come to fruition and nor did the Royal Challengers bid for Gayle at the IPL auction in January.
Gayle did not attract any bids in the first two rounds of the auction, but in the final round, the Kings XI Punjab made a last-second bid to acquire the services of the ‘Universe Boss’ for his base price of INR 2 crores.
“I was their biggest draw,” Gayle told the Times of India when asked about the Royal Challengers. “It was disappointing from that end, because they had called me. They wanted me in the team and I was told that I will be retained. But they never called back after that. So that gave me the impression that they didn’t want me and it’s fine.
“As I said, I can’t fight with anyone. I think I had a wonderful CPL and BPL – where I scored two centuries for my side Rangpur Riders. The stats don’t lie: 21 centuries, most number of sixes. If that doesn’t put a stamp on brand Chris Gayle, I don’t know what will.”
Gayle admitted that he was surprised to go unsold in the first two rounds of the IPL auction, but added that he was relieved and excited to play for a new franchise when the Kings XI purchased him.
“Not in particular but I’ll be honest in admitting that it was very surprising for me to not get picked by any team,” he said. “I don’t know what went behind closed doors but I also understand that these things happen. It’s just the way it is. But it’s fine. I’ve moved on from it.
“Like I said, it’s a great opportunity to be playing for King XI Punjab and so far I’ve had a great time. Perhaps it was supposed to happen, you know. King Gayle; destined to be playing for Kings XI Punjab.”
The Kings XI’s faith in Gayle has paid off massively as the 38-year-old has scored 252 runs in four games, which includes a century and two fifties, at an average of 126.
When asked if his performance thus far will silence his doubters, Gayle said: “I don’t know if I’ve actually proved them wrong. There are always going to be doubters but at the same time I didn’t have anything to prove.
“My records speak for themselves. Even though I was selected in the very last round of the auction, I wasn’t really worried about it. Even if it was the end of it , there is life… a life beyond cricket, beyond the IPL.
“At some stage, you are going to walk away from the IPL and other forms of cricket. So I was never too intrigued. This is how I’ve always been, living in the present. But given the sense that I was picked up and playing for a new franchise, it was very pleasing. And the way I have played in the first three games, I think it has been fantastic. I’m very happy with where I’m at.”