Christopher Henry Gayle has been playing cricket at the first-class level since 1998 and test cricket since the year 2000. Over his long and distinguished career, Gayle has shattered many cricketing records and is arguably the last real superstar of cricket that the Caribbean has produced.
He is also the consummate entertainer and shrewd professional which endears him to millions of cricket fans across the world, especially in cricket-crazy India! Gayle will turn 39 in September of this year, and one has to wonder how much longer he can carry on, I will highlight some reasons why Gayle should probably draw the curtain on his distinguished career sooner rather than later.
One of the things that great athletes grapple with is when to call it quits. Chris Gayle is undoubtedly a great sportsman that has achieved more than most in the game of cricket. Gayle has scored 7214 runs at the Test level including 15 centuries, two of which are triple centuries – he is one of four persons in the history of the game that has scored two triple centuries.
His 333 is also the highest score by a visiting batsman to Sri Lanka. In One Day Cricket, Chris Gayle has scored 9420, including 22 centuries, which is the most by any West Indian batsman. Despite these exceptional returns in Test and One Day Cricket, the format that Gayle has left an indelible mark is in T20 Cricket.
He is by a long stretch the most successful batsman that the format has produced, scoring over 11000 runs including a mind-boggling 20 centuries! The closest challengers in Michael Klinger, Brendan McCullum, and Luke Wright have scored seven centuries each!
These achievements in all formats of the game as cemented Chris Gayle’s legacy in the history of cricket and it would be a travesty for him to continue playing on for too long while it is evident that his powers as a batsman are diminishing. It is imperative that he recognizes this and step away from the game before he embarrasses himself and his legacy.
Also, Gayle has never been the fastest mover on the cricket field, however in recent times due to injuries over the years; he has become increasingly immobile between the wickets.
This lack of mobility affects the momentum of the team and also the batsman at the other end. Gayle can make up for the lack of running between the wickets by scoring boundaries quickly but runs will be surely left on the table in today’s fast-paced game if batsmen are not able to sprint between the wickets.
This deficiency of the aging Chris Gayle makes him unattractive to several T20 franchises that use to pay top dollars for him a few years ago and is another reason why he should consider his future in the game.
Finally, Gayle has become increasingly inconsistent over the last couple of years, and his recent two centuries in the Bangladesh Premier League probably saved is T20 career.
Outside of these centuries, he has scored at a lower strike rate and has performed below the lofty standards that he has set for himself. Gayle wants to take a shot at the One Day International World cup for one last time, and he deserves to be afforded that courtesy, he should, however, think long and hard about his future in the game after the conclusion of the marquee tournament.
His contagious smile, calm confidence, and dance moves will be missed on the cricket field, but they will live on forever in the minds of cricket fans! He has surely been one of the greats of the game!
Readers Bureau, contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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