Dubai: He’s named himself the ‘Universe Boss’ of cricket. Fresh after arriving from his native Kingston, Jamaica, at the end of August, Kings XI Punjab’s Chris Gayle self-quarantined before joining regular practice sessions with the team in Dubai and Sharjah ahead of the Indian Premier League. Late on Thursday, his KXIP team were hard at work at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Post-practice, Gayle showed who exactly is the boss when the delivery men arrived with food in the changing room.
- IPL in UAE: Players on a learning curve for Indian Teachers Day
- IPL in UAE: Before catching the matches, check out Sushant Singh Rajput to Rani Mukherjee in these 10 Bollywood cricket movies
- IPL in UAE: Many hands make light work of IPL team training
- IPL in UAE: MS Dhoni and co make a meal of it during team bonding
“You come,” Gayle says perched on a chair in the corner of the changing room as one of the delivery men walks in. Gayle can then be seen instructing the next one to “come, come, come, come, come” in a coaxing voice.
Clearly calling the shots. Gayle is seen telling the third delivery man — quite the puzzled one by now with what is happening — to “stop, stop, stop”, like a policeman directing traffic, even as the one shooting the video is heard laughing heartily in the background.
One of the delivery men reaches out to push a trolley and Gayle can be heard instructing him to stop doing so, while beckoning yet another delivery man to carry the food parcels through to the other side of the room. The next task for the 40-year-old Boss is to permit the delivery man to push the trolley away after saying a courteous “thank you”.
The prank doesn’t stop as Gayle first instructs the delivery man to “put his mask on” and then tells him to “walk slowly” with the food parcels evoking even more laughter in the room.
A former member of Royal Challengers Bangalore since 2009, Gayle’s records speak for themselves. His highest score of an unbeaten 175 is yet to be surpassed. Gayle has so far featured in 24 matches for the Kings XI Punjab, and their best result in the IPL so far as they ended runners-up to the Kolkata Knight Riders, in 2014.
Due to turn 41 on September 21, Gayle has scored more than 4,000 runs in the IPL alone with his unbeaten 104 off 63 balls against the Sunrisers Hyderabad as his highest for the current team.
And one man who is definitely delighted with Gayle’s presence in the Punjab squad is skipper Kannur Lokesh Rahul as the squad intend to utilise the Jamaican’s experience to good use. “We at Kings XI Punjab have had a great experience with Chris and me luckily, I have played with him for years now, we have shared great friendship, we have had some partnerships in the middle, he is a great guy to have in the team,” Rahul had tweeted on Gayle’s arrival.
“He will be a part of our core group, with the kind of experience he has, he will be somebody who will win matches for us.”