St Kitts and Nevis Patriots have retained Chris Gayle as they prepare for Hero CPL 2021. The 41-year-old batting all-rounder is no stranger to the CPL, having featured previously for the Jamaica Tallawahs in 2013, 2016, and 2019. He left after the 2019 season after having disagreements with the management and offered his name for drafting in last year’s CPL. St Lucia Zouks initially retained him during CPL 2020 draft, but he opted out of CPL 2020 for personal reasons.
Chris also had a stint in St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in 2017 when he captained it to its first-ever CPL final. In a tense and dramatic final, the Trinbago Knight Riders won by three wickets. The Jamaican-born cricketer who plays for the West Indies team has had a remarkable career in the international arena and domestic leagues. He is the only player to score more than 14,000 runs and hit more than 1,000 sixes in the history of T20 cricket. He was also the 1st player to cross the 10,000 runs mark in T20 cricket.
His international debut for the West Indies was in March 1999 in an ODI match against India. However, he had participated in first-class cricket for Jamaica in 1998 at the West Indies domestic league. He was 19 years old at the time. Chris has been a constant figure in the international West Indies squad ever since. He even captained the West Indies T20 team in the ICC T20 World Cup, but it lost to Sri Lanka in the semi-finals.
Chris has shone in Test cricket smashing several records. In December 2012, while playing against Bangladesh, he became the first player in Test cricket history to hit a six off the first ball of the match. In the following year, in a Test match against Zimbabwe, Chris beat Brian Lara’s record for most sixes ever played by a West Indian cricketer. In 2019 during the World Cup, he played his 300th ODI match surpassing Brian Lara’s record of 299. He also currently holds the record for most runs in ODIs for a West Indian player.
Chris has been such a dominating force in cricket that he was nominated for ICC’s Men’s T20 Cricketer of the decade in November 2020.
At the domestic level, he has played for several teams like Worcestershire in England, Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings, and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. He has also played in Australia for the Sydney Thunder, Western Australia, and Melbourne Renegades. He has also played in Pakistan for Karachi Kings and extensively in Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Chris Gayle will play for the home team at CPL 2021 as the tournament will be wholly held in St Kitts and Nevis’ Warner Park but will be hoping to impress the fans who will attend in person and those watching worldwide. The organizers of the CPL, in conjunction with the Government of St Kitts and Nevis, have decided to allow up to 50 % of the 18,000 fan capacity of Warner Park. All fans will have to present their vaccination documents for perusal by officials at the venue.
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