Kolkata: Chris Gayle, who showed there was enough left in the tank during his last sojourn in IPL 2020 in the UAE, is looking forward to another round of lusty hitting in the upcoming edition of Abu Dhabi T10 League. The fourth edition of the event takes place at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in the UAE capital from January 28 to February 6.
The ‘Universe Boss,’ who returns to the league after two years, said: “First of all, I want to say that it’s good to be back. I’ve missed the past two seasons, so it’s good to be back within T10. There are lots of talented players who will be on show, with the likes of Kieron Pollard and the other international players. So I’m definitely looking forward to be back with Team Abu Dhabi. South Africa’s Chris Morris is also in my team and I’ve played with him before, so it’s good to be back playing with him and the boys again.”
Speaking from Jamaica, Gayle said he is looking forward to taking part in this year’s edition of cricket’s new avatar. “At the moment, I’m actually getting some well-needed rest but keeping the Abu Dhabi T10 League in mind, I’m going to start some training soon and get ready to be back in business,” he said.
Talking about the impact that this brand new format, where each game can be finished in 90 minutes flat like a football match, the man regarded as franchise cricket’s biggest star said: “I would absolutely love to see T10 within the Olympics. It would be something huge for the sport from a general point of view. I also think T10 can be (held) within the United States also since it’s a big platform. I think most people don’t recognise the States for cricket, but T10 is very much suitable to be held within USA, and I believe it can help generate bigger revenues as well.
“The organizers of the Abu Dhabi T10 League have (built) something fantastic here, so we should now look to spread it and we can get more guys involved and more countries involved within T10 for sure,” added the West Indian.
Speaking about his experience of playing in the past editions of the league, Gayle said: “The first time I played T10 it was really exciting, fun and swashbuckling. I really liked it because it was just powerhouse hitting from ball one, and all the guys enjoyed it. We had a good time as well, so like I said, being back and playing in Abu Dhabi now, it is a better wicket to bat on now, so more runs can be scored. I think that happened last year as well in Abu Dhabi – the scoring percentage rate is certainly higher now, so it’s good luck to the bowlers.”
Signing off, the legendary cricketer had a piece of advice for the youngsters who look up to him - be yourself. “I believe you can always look at a particular player, but not necessarily try and be that person – you need to be who you are. You need to know your weaknesses and your strengths, and you can pick certain key moments or things from that player’s game, but put it within your game.
‘‘Don’t try to say: ‘Hey, I want to be a Chris Gayle’. I always want someone to be in their own individual rights to actually say, This is me, this is who I want to be. I would just tell the youngsters to be confident about themselves and just get the job done.”