How Chris Gayle ruled in 2011

Chris Gayle is half-retired, and given how cricketers do it these days, there's probably no better description of his status.

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How Chris Gayle ruled in 2011

Maybe he gets one last game for West Indies. Maybe he features in some high-profile setting somewhere. Maybe we don't see him again. Exits are never clean anymore, in which case, let's call this a half-goodbye.

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How Chris Gayle ruled in 2011

The Gayle experience properly becomes a thing from 2011. Before that season, he was - as he writes in Six Machine - growing into the format, "like an emperor exploring his latest conquests".

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How Chris Gayle ruled in 2011

Specifically 2011, 2012 and 2013, were the peak years, a time in which Gayle was rewiring batting, and as a result, rewiring our brains; scrambling it, shaking it, and finally,

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How Chris Gayle ruled in 2011

crucially, releasing it: this is what was possible with intent, real intent, not that word that gets thrown about so casually.

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How Chris Gayle ruled in 2011

How else to describe his T20 record in that period? Games: 104. Average: 51.44 (wow). SR: 158.15 (Insane). Hundreds: 10 (Stop, my brain hurts).

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How Chris Gayle ruled in 2011

He hit more sixes (337) than he did fours (310). At the very heart of it was the IPL, the real coliseum, and there his numbers were even better - 165-plus strike rate, 62-plus average, four hundreds.

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How Chris Gayle ruled in 2011

The prism didn't exist then through which any of this made sense. There were good T20 batters, there were great T20 batters and there was Gayle.

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How Chris Gayle ruled in 2011

Before the 2011 IPL, he had a strike rate of 140 and averaged 31, which, only because of what came after, looks a little meh. What gave?

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How Chris Gayle ruled in 2011

On-field clarity, yes, in that he was gradually whittling down his game to how we now know it.

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