A champion on the field, and a self-proclaimed ‘Universe Boss’ off it, West Indies’ veteran cricketer Chris Gayle is one of the biggest names set to feature in this year’s edition of the Abu Dhabi T10 League, and the Jamaican left-hander is already looking forward to the tournament which takes place from 28th January to 6th February 2021 in the UAE.
Speaking from his home in 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.
Expressing his delight at returning to take part in the league after a gap of two seasons, Gayle stated, “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.”
Talking about the impact that T10 has had on cricket, and the potential it holds globally, Gayle added, “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 recognize 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 T10 League and looking forward to this season, 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 also had some piece of advice for the youngsters who look up to him. He said, “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.”