Having been released by the Punjab Kings, Chris Gayle, who hasn’t been in good touch with the willow for quite some time now, finds himself in a spot of bother as he’ll be going under the hammer at the 2022 IPL auction.
The 42-year-old who has 4965 IPL runs to his name in 142 matches, has so far represented Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab Kings since the inception of the cash rich league.
There are quite a few factors that might help the flamboyant batter land an IPL contract this time as well irrespective of those factors. On that note, let us look at three factors that might help the ‘Universe Boss’ acquire an IPL contract for the upcoming edition even at the age of 42.
1) Chris Gayle’s exceptional T20 records and stats
Gayle, who holds the record for the most number of runs in T20 cricket with 14321 runs, also holds the pole position when it comes to players with the highest score in an innings (175*) and most number of sixes (357 sixes) in the IPL history.
On many occasions, his batting at the top of the order has laid the much needed foundation for other batters to carry forward the momentum. Who can forget his innings of 175* off just 66 balls against the now defunct Pune Warriors India in 2013 at an astonishing strike-rate of 265.15.
He is the kind of player that bowlers fear bowling to and teams would love to have in their squad for a T20 game.
2) He still has the firepower to dominate for at least an year or so
Despite failing to do well at the 2021 World Twenty20 in the United Arab Emirates, Gayle explained that he is not finished yet and that he still has a few years left.
Post West Indies’ final Match against Australia in the T20 World cup 2021, he received a standing ovation from his teammates and a guard of honors by members of both teams.
However, he insisted that he would “love to play” another T20 World Cup for the Men in Maroon and especially wants to end his International career with one last game in his hometown of Jamaica.
I Ain’t Leaving…
— Chris Gayle (@henrygayle) November 18, 2021
The very next day after posting this tweet, Gayle proved as to why he has still got the firepower in him despite successive failures by smashing 49* in Team Abu Dhabi’s first fixture of this year’s T10 League.
A week later he followed it up with a half-century (52* off 23 balls) against Bangla Tigers and 30* against Chennai Braves, thereby making a clear statement with the bat about his intent.
His fighting spirit, hunger for runs and ability to score big at ease once again reaffirm the fact that he is here to stay for at least a year or so before announcing his retirement.
3) A reduced base price tag going into IPL 2022 Auction
Gayle, who was bought by the Punjab Kings for his initial price of Rs 20 crore at the 2018 IPL auction, was retained by seven runners-up in the run-up to last year’s IPL auction. Unfortunately, the 2021 IPL was not memorable for Gayle, who scored just 193 runs in 10 matches based in Mohali.
This prompted them to release him ahead of the upcoming 2022 IPL auction. Though experts and fans predict that Gayle might miss out on an IPL contract this time, a reduced base price tag might actually land him a contract, especially with the addition of two new franchises.
A match winner who can single-handedly change the fortunes of a game, Teams might surely be interested in buying him despite his age and form if he reduces his base price tag going into the auction. It would be an absolute steal if any of the franchises could acquire him for a lesser price tag given his experience and credentials.