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Face of T20 cricket Chris Gayle waves 'last goodbye' from the grandest stage

After he got dismissed against Australia, Chris Gayle raised his arms and bat to the applause of the stadium

Nobody has played T20 cricket quite like Chris Gayle has [Source: ICC]
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Nobody has played T20 cricket quite like Chris Gayle has [Source: ICC]

By

Anjishnu Roy

Updated: 2021-11-07T17:03:12+05:30

When T20 cricket was first introduced in the early half of the 2000s, it definitely had the potential to succeed and change cricket forever. However, few people expected it to become the gigantic, popular-across-the-world beast that it has become now. Fast-paced, entertaining, rich with quick highs and lows, T20 cricket was the perfect dopamine rush for the new millennium with ever-decreasing attention spans.

Throughout those years, from 2003/04 to 2021, few people have carried the mantle of T20 cricket and embodied its spirit as magnificently as Christopher Henry Gayle has. Ever since its international T20I debut against New Zealand in 2006, Gayle has taken the format by the scruff of its face and has ridden with joys on its highest heights.

Chris Gayle possesses a plethora of records in T20 cricket

In T20 cricket, Gayle has scored a whopping 22 centuries. Nobody else has managed more than eight centuries.

He has scored 14,306 runs in 444 innings. No one else has more than 12,000. Gayle has also smashed 1043 sixes in this format, the next best is 760.

Therefore, the emotions ran high when Universe Boss, now 42 and no longer with the same prowess that defined his peak, played what many believe is his last international game. Gayle himself fuelled the fire to those speculations when he took off his helmet and raised his bat and massive arms to the applause of the West Indies contingent as well as the stadium. He also gave away his gloves to the fans.

He had roared in frustration after dragging Pat Cummins onto his stumps in what was the last game for the defending champions West Indies in the T20 World Cup. Only a few minutes ago, he had smashed Cummins over mid-on for a gigantic six, his second of the day.

Although there has been no official confirmation of his international retirement yet, in many ways it does feel like the end of an era for West Indies cricket who had pioneered the T20 format in the previous decade. Chris Gayle, especially, had been the cornerstone of that project.

Gayle achieved superstardom status in the ever-growing Indian Premier League. His innings of 175 not out against Pune Warriors India in IPL 2013 broke virtually every record at the highest level of cricket. Although he has never won the Indian Premier League, he has been part of seven title-winning sides all across the world!

It looks like the end of the era for West Indies' otherworldly dominance in T20 cricket [Source: ICC]

The most prestigious of those are of course, the two T20 World Cup titles that he won with his country West Indies. "I can remember the fun memories, winning two world titles, fantastic," Gayle said pre-match, as he hinted that Saturday's match was the end of his international career.

If this is indeed the dusk on Christopher Henry Gayle's career, let us be the first to say that it has been a privilege to watch him play cricket and take on bowlers with disdain. Nobody has done it quite like him.

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