Chris Gayle reveals why he chose IPL over ICL
West Indies opening batsman Chris Gayle reveals why he chose to ignore an offer from the Indian Cricket League (ICL) in favour of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in his first book, Six Machine.
Gayle is IPL's fifth-leading run-scorer with 3,426 runs from 92 matches at an average of 43.36 and strike rate of 153. His exploits for Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore wouldn't have been possible it wasn't for his refusal of the offer from ICL.
"The day came when a contract was put in front of me with the numbers US$ 3,000,000. The day came when even Stanford could seem small change." he wrote.
"$3m to play in the Indian Cricket League. Ramnaresh Sarwan had one for $2m. We looked at them together 'Hmm. What we gonna do, Sars?'", he continued before speaking how he asked several people about whether to take the offer or not.
With nobody really telling him to turn down three million, the 36-year-old admitted he had sleepless nights.
"I couldn't sleep. Lying there staring at the ceiling. all the time thinking, this cannot be real, this is too good to be true."
The West Indian then went on to explain why he chose to reject it and unsurprisingly it was thanks to a meeting with Lalit Modi.
Modi told him: "I can't tell you what to do, but just know the IPL will be the bigger and better thing. And if you go and play, you won't play for the West Indies again, because the ICL will not be sanctioned by the boards.”
"I still wanted to play for the West Indies, so I turned it down," he explains. "Too good to be true, and in the end it was. A lot of people didn't get their money and didn't get to play for their team."
Gayle reveals his process of signing
While he did admit that he had made some bad decisions and even "lost a lot of money" as a player, he revealed his process behind signing to play somewhere.
"That's why I never sign any agreement with any agent. I'm more like a freelancer. You come to me with something on the table, then we work it out from there. That's how I do my stuff.
"I'm not signing anything with any particular body. Then, once a thing is whole, I have a lawyer, and sometimes even lawyers are rip-off, and sometimes you have to pay the hard price."
Despite being on the wrong end on a few occasions, he adds that he doesn't "shed any tears over it" and smiles because it's all a process and "Yuh cyaan have a smooth life."
IPL was certainly lucky that Gayle decided to wait instead of taking the money from the ICL. Who knows how the tournament would have turned out to be, without one of the format's biggest draws.