Departing Gayle eyes PSL second leg in Lahore

Published February 24, 2021
CHRIS Gayle on song during his innings pf 68 
against Lahore Qalandars on Monday night.
—Tahir Jamal/White Star
CHRIS Gayle on song during his innings pf 68 against Lahore Qalandars on Monday night. —Tahir Jamal/White Star

KARACHI: Chris Gayle’s parting words before he headed home a brief period for West Indies’ upcoming Twenty20 International series against Sri Lanka were that he had enjoyed coming to Pakistan after 15 years.

The Universe Boss — as Gayle is known — top-scored for Quetta Gladiators in both their HBL Pakistan Super League 6 matches but his runs didn’t matter as the Sarfaraz Ahmed-led team capitulated to humiliating defeats against holders Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars, respectively.

The 41-year-old left-hander expressed sadness at not being able to commit himself for the entire duration of HBL PSL 6, which ends on March 22, since he will be available for Quetta during the Lahore leg of the competition that starts from March 10.

“To be honest it is sad to leave at this point in time because I wanted to play the full PSL and that’s why I put my hands up this year for the player draft. My desire was to come here and dominate and give the fans something to cheer about after being to Pakistan after a long gap of something like 15 years,” Gayle said.

WI star leaves Quetta Gladiators for national duty

“It’s therefore unfortunate that I’ve to leave after just two games for national duties but as we all know Lahore is still there come the second round. So there’s still a lot of cricket to play and I am really looking forward to visit Lahore.”

Gayle said the excitement that PSL provides is somewhat dulled because only 20 percent of fans are allowed to fill up the stands during each game.

“I wish there were more fans here but I simply love that buzz and passionate involvement of the fans. It would fantastic to see a full house because it gives goose-bumps,” he remarked.

“I just want to say that hopefully, hopefully we get that stage when the stands are packed to capacity and fans are chanting with good quality bowlers running in at you because that’s how we can give fans something great to be entertained about.”

Commenting on Quetta’s dreadful start and his own form, Gayle stressed that his side shouldn’t panic in spite of the results not going their way.

“Yeah, the start has not been as Quetta Gladiators would have wanted but it is very early days in the tournament. So far team batting second have had more chance of winning but we aren’t thinking on those lines as yet. You know we maybe two down but hopefully we’ll be back,” the big man said.

“It feels good to be among the runs. I got runs [39] in the first game versus Karachi Kings] as well but having said that I wanted to bat deeper against Lahore. There were few chances here and there [he was dropped thrice on 12, 20 and 31] but that it doesn’t show on the scoreboard.

“You know getting 68 on a wicket that was difficult [to bat on] in the earlier period of play because it was pretty slow and the ball was holding up. They [Lahore Qalandars] have a brilliant line-up and they bowled extremely well. The captain [Sarfaraz] and I were required to consolidate after losing two wickets upfront. I thought we did a fantastic job to build a partnership [101 in 68 balls] and eventually we did well to get 20 extra runs at the backend [of the Quetta innings].”

Gayle was philosophical about playing cricket and staying in bio-secure bubble during the Covid-19 pandemic. “It is a miracle that we are playing during this particular time, which itself is a blessing. I just hope things can get better in the future.

“Things are quite tough with the world almost at a standstill. We must not take life for granted when things start getting back to normal ways. People are at a distance, having to live in the bubble,” the West Indies star said.

Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2021

Opinion

Diverging paths
Updated 15 Apr 2021

Diverging paths

It seems that Imran Khan is feeling the pain of the adjustment that he has had to undertake.
Judging the judges
15 Apr 2021

Judging the judges

In the end, like Joan of Arc, they were made to pay with their blood.
People to people
Updated 15 Apr 2021

People to people

By facilitating access, the governments of India and Pakistan can start to build trust and understanding between the two publics.
Hostage to extremism
Updated 14 Apr 2021

Hostage to extremism

Once again, the TLP has succeeded in bringing the administration to its knees.

Editorial

Afghanistan exit
Updated 15 Apr 2021

Afghanistan exit

Afghanistan has suffered for decades as powerful local players have refused to compromise and have insisted on hogging power.
15 Apr 2021

New census

EARLIER this week, the Council of Common Interests approved the controversial National Population and Housing ...
15 Apr 2021

With no place to go

No matter where one looks, one can’t escape the heartrending sight of scores of children of all ages begging, ...
TLP protests
Updated 14 Apr 2021

TLP protests

For the good of the country, and its image as a nation where extremism has no place, such groups must be strictly reined in.
14 Apr 2021

PPP’s formal exit

THE PPP’s formal resignation from all offices of the PDM comes as no surprise after weeks of tension and public...
14 Apr 2021

Natanz attack

AS the P5+1 and Iran try to breathe life back into the JCPOA, as the nuclear deal is officially known, it appears...