Even at the age of 40, this opener is considered as the best T20 player in the history of the game and his statistics strongly approve of it. He is the only cricketer to feature in 400 T20 games. Gayle has made a mark in all three formats of the game and is one of the sporting gems that the Caribbean islands have excavated.
Chris Gayle : Along the Years
ODI debut against India
Test debut against Zimbabwe
Played in the ICC Champions Trophy 2002
Played in the ICC ODI World Cup 2003
Won the ICC Champions Trophy 2004
Played for ICC World XI
T20I debut against New Zealand
Played in the ICC Champions Trophy 2006
Man of the Tournament at Champions Trophy 2006
Played in the ICC ODI World Cup 2007
Played in the ICC T20 World Cup 2007
Joined the Kolkata Knight Riders
Led West Indies in the ICC T20 World Cup 2009
Joined the Western Australia Warriors
Led West Indies in the ICC T20 World Cup 2010
Played in the ICC ODI World Cup 2011
Joined Royal Challengers Bangalore
Joined Sydney Thunder
Joined the Barisal Burners
Won the ICC T20 World Cup 2012
Joined the Dhaka Gladiators
Played in the ICC Champions Trophy 2013
Joined the Jamaica Tallawahs
Played in the ICC T20 World Cup 2014
Played in the ICC ODI World Cup 2015
Joined the Barisal Bulls
Joined the Melbourne Renegades
Joined the Lahore Qalandars
Won the ICC T20 World Cup 2016
Joined Chittagong Vikings
Joined the Karachi Kings
Joined the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots
Joined the Rangpur Riders
Joined the Kings XI Punjab
Joined the Vancouver Knights
Joined the Multan Sultans
Joined the Balkh Legends
Joined the Jozi Stars
Played in the ICC ODI World Cup 2019
Domestic or T20 League Records
Highest run-getter in T20 cricket (13,152* runs)
Highest run-getter in IPL 2011 (608 runs)
Highest run-getter in IPL 2012 (733 runs)
Chris Gayle 175 in IPL is the highest individual score in T20 cricket
Has scored the fastest century in T20 cricket (30 balls vs Pune Warriors India)
Most sixes in an innings in T20 cricket (18 vs Dynamites)
Has equalled the record for fastest fifty in T20 cricket (12 balls vs Adelaide Strikers)
Only batsman to score 10,000 runs in T20 cricket
First batsman to hit 100 T20I sixes
Has most centuries in T20 cricket (22)
Has most centuries in IPL cricket (6)
Has the highest individual score in a losing cause in T20 cricket (151* vs Kent)
Most capped player for West Indies (461* matches)
Only cricketer to have scored a triple century in Tests, double century in ODIs and a century in T20Is
Highest run-getter for West Indies in ODIs (10,425*)
Highest run-getter for West Indies in T20Is (1,627*)
Highest run-getter in ICC Champions Trophy 2006 (474 runs)
Scored the first-ever T20I hundred and became the first player to score hundreds in all three formats
Fourth cricketer to score two Test triple hundreds
First cricketer to hit a six off the first ball of a Test match
Only West Indian to score a double hundred in ODIs (215 vs Zimbabwe)
Has scored the fastest double century in ODIs (138 balls)
First cricketer to score a double hundred in the ODI World Cup (215 vs Zimbabwe)
Involved in the highest partnership in World Cups (372 with Marlon Samuels vs Zimbabwe)
Has hit most sixes in World Cup history (49*)
Has hit most sixes for West Indies in Test cricket (98*)
Has played most number of World Cup matches for West Indies (35*)
Only player to have hit centuries in ICC U19 World Cup, ICC World Twenty20, ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy and in ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
Has scored the fastest ODI fifty for West Indies (19 balls)
Highest run-getter in ICC Champions Trophy (791* runs)
Has hit the most number of sixes in international cricket (534*)
Man of the Tournament in ICC Champions Trophy 2006
‘Jamaican Sportsman of the Year’ in 2010
Orange Cap in IPL 2011
Maximum sixes award in IPL 2011
Most Valuable Player in IPL 2011
Orange Cap in IPL 2012
Maximum sixes award in IPL 2012
Maximum sixes award in IPL 2013
Maximum sixes award in IPL 2015
‘Order of Distinction’ (OD) awarded by Jamaican Honours System
Gayle started playing cricket as a kid at the Lucas Cricket Club in his hometown, Kingston. He played for the youth teams in Jamaica before making his international debut. He did not have to fight it out hard at the domestic level as he made his international debut just 11 months after making his First Class debut for Jamaica.
However, he made his way back into domestic cricket in 2006, where he joined the English county Worcestershire to play in the County Championship season. He played three First Class games and five one-dayers. He scored four half-centuries in 8 matches.
A 19-year-old Chris Gayle made his international debut in an ODI against Indian Cricket Team at Toronto in Canada on 10 September 1999. He scored just 1 run batting at No. 4. He also bowled 6 overs that fetched 37 runs out of the 165 that India scored for victory.
Six months later, he played his first-ever Test match against Zimbabwe in Trinidad that started on 15 March 2000. He scored 33 in the first innings and a golden duck in the second. Gayle also picked up figures of 3/25 in the first innings. The home side eventually won the contest by 35 runs.
He made a name for himself in 2002 when he registered three centuries against India and joined the greats like Sir Vivian Richards and Brian Lara to the list of West Indians with more than 1,000 international runs in a calendar year. He then had an ordinary couple of years before 2005.
In 2005, he was picked to play the Test matches against South Africa. In the fourth Test, he scored his maiden triple century (317) to save the game and recorded the highest individual score against South African cricket team at that time. However, his career was threatened after he had a few heart problems in the series that followed. He was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect causing a cardiac dysrhythmia. But given how strong the man he is mentally and physically, he came back to Test cricket soon and became only the fourth West Indian to carry his bat in a Test innings.
Gayle made his T20I debut against New Zealand on 16 February 2006 at Eden Park in Auckland. He opened the innings and scored just 10 runs off 12 balls. He returned with figures of 2/22 in his 4 overs. Interestingly, both sides could manage only 126 runs and the result was obtained after a ‘bowl-out’. The hosts won the game.
He then participated in the ICC Champions Trophy 2006 and made the tournament his own. He scored 150 runs more than any other batsman in the tournament and became the highest run-getter in the competition with 474 runs under his belt. He also took 8 wickets in the series and was awarded the ‘Man of the Tournament’ award.
The Jamaican could not continue his form in the ICC ODI World Cup 2007 that followed. However, he was once again at his best when the inaugural ICC T20 World Cup was played a few months later. He recorded the first-ever T20 international hundred in the tournament. He thus became the first cricketer to score centuries in three different formats at the international level.
He was made captain of the West Indies side in the ICC T20 World Cup 2009 after getting criticized for playing in the IPL 2008 and missing an international series a few months before. Gayle scored a quickfire 88 in the opening game of the tournament and helped the Windies beat the mighty Australians. They lost in the semi-final to Sri Lanka.
In December 2009, he scored a 70-ball century in a Test match against Australia, which was the fifth-fastest Test century at that time. Eleven months later, he registered another triple century (333) and became just the fourth cricketer to score two triple centuries in Test cricket after Sir Donald Bradman, Brian Lara and Virender Sehwag.
He also led West Indies in the 2010 edition of the ICC T20 World Cup. Another major point in his career came in the ICC T20 World Cup 2012. He scored a blazing knock of 75 runs against Australia in the semi-final of the tournament to power the Windies into the final. Gayle’s 75 was the highest individual score of the competition. The ‘Men in Maroon’ went on to win the coveted trophy for the first time 2 days later.
He was selected to play the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 in England. He was West Indies’s highest run-getter in the tournament with 96 runs in 3 innings. Fast forward to ICC T20 World Cup 2014, Chris Gayle was once again the leading run-getter for West Indies with 143 runs in 5 innings.
The ICC ODI World Cup 2015 was his fourth consecutive ICC ODI World Cup. The ‘legend’ was once again the leading run-getter in the tournament. He scored 340 runs in 6 innings. He scored his maiden ODI double hundred in this competition and became the first cricketer to do so in a World Cup. In the same innings, he shared a 372-run partnership with Marlon Samuels, which is the highest partnership in a World Cup game till date.
Gayle was once again a part of a successful campaign for West Indies in the ICC T20 World Cup 2016 where they became the first team to win the title twice. Gayle scored 113 runs in 4 innings.
The Jamaican played his fifth consecutive ICC ODI World Cup in 2019. He had announced before the start of the tournament that he will retire from ODI cricket as soon as the competition gets over. He managed to score only 242 runs in 8 games and then all of a sudden decided to continue his ODI career. In the World Cup, he became the most capped player for West Indies with 455 appearances in international cricket.
He decided to take a break from cricket for a while in December 2019. His return date is unknown.
T20 Leagues Career
The hard-hitting batsman was signed by the Western Australia Warriors for the inaugural edition of the Big Bash League in 2009/10. The same year, he was also picked by the Kolkata Knight Riders to play in the second edition of the Indian Premier League. He had quite ordinary two seasons with them before switching to the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2011.
The switch proved to be quite beneficial for him as he emerged as the highest run-getter in the tournament with 608 runs to his name with 2 hundreds and 3 fifties. He also hit the most number of sixes that season. He hit 44 sixes while the second name on the list, MS Dhoni, had hit just 23 even after playing 4 more innings. He received five ‘Man of the Match’ awards in the season and was also named the ‘Most Valuable Player’ of IPL 2011.
In the BBL, he moved to Sydney Thunder for the following season. He was the highest run-getter in the series with 293 runs including a century. He then participated in the Bangladesh Premier League playing for the Barisal Burners and scored two centuries in the season.
He continued his exemplary form in the 2012 edition of the IPL as well. He scored 733 runs in 14 matches and became the first cricketer to win two IPL Orange Caps. He won it in consecutive seasons. He also scored the maximum number of sixes (59) in the season once again. However, his best individual performance in T20 history came in the following season.
Chris Gayle highest score in IPL and in T20 cricket came against Pune Warriors India on 23 April 2013 when he scored 175 not out in just 66 balls. He broke multiple records in the innings including the fastest century in any form of competitive cricket (30 balls) and the then most number of sixes in a T20 innings (17). To add to it, he also took 2 wickets in the match.
He had fairly ordinary seasons of T20 cricket till 2016. He played for the Adelaide Striker in the Big Bash League in 2016 and equaled Yuvraj Singh’s record of fastest fifty in T20 cricket (12 balls). The same year, he played for the Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan super League and managed only 103 runs in 5 matches. The following year, he played for the Karachi Kings and managed only 160 runs in 9 games.
In April 2017, Christopher Henry Gayle became the first cricketer to score 10,000 runs in T20 cricket. He had a turnaround year in IPL 2018, when the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) snapped him for his base price of INR 2 crore after being snubbed by his previous franchise all of a sudden. He scored 368 runs in 2018 and 490 runs in 2019 for KXIP.
Chris was born to Dudley and Hazel Gayle. He married his longtime girlfriend Natasha Berridge on 31 May 2009. He became a father to his daughter Blush on 20 April 2016.