Get to know our brand ambassador Chris Gayle like never before – read our exclusive interview with him below! Why he loves India and the IPL so much, who’s capable of breaking his very own legendary records (spoiler alert: Chris is ready to do it himself!) and what it’s like to party with Usain Bolt – The Boss reveals it all…
This month you’ll complete 22 years in international cricket. Tell us your Top 3 favourite moments in cricket so far?
My Top 3 moments… I know we’ve won the T20 World Cup twice but the first one – 2016, winning the World Cup, beating England in Kolkata… that’s one of my Top 3 moments within my career. Scoring 333 against Sri Lanka in a Test match. There are so many but I want to put in scoring a double century against Zimbabwe in a World Cup – 215. Any other day maybe I would give you a different Top 3 but that is my Top 3 for now.
You play T20 leagues all across the globe. How is it different playing in the IPL when compared to the other leagues?
With the IPL… I think the IPL is the No 1 franchise cricket in the world. Apart from the World Cup, the IPL is the next biggest thing in T20 cricket. The IPL is where all the big players and stars are. You know, you get selected to represent a particular franchise and you have the best players in the world. The World Cup aside, the IPL is definitely the No 1 T20 cricket in the world.
What do you like the most about India as a whole?
The hospitality here is fantastic! I’ve been coming to India for 20 years now, the people here have been very warm and respectable, very fun and joyful. The hospitality is great! It’s a shame that as a cricketer you can’t really get the chance to explore India, there are so many things to do in India from a tourist’s point of view. As cricketers we get bombarded with the crowds once you step outside of the hotel. As I said, India is a fantastic place. I love coming here, I’m treated as ‘one of our own’ since I’ve been here so many times over the years. India is home, you know, most of us call it a second home. It’s unbelievable here, incredible India!
It is a well-known fact that you and Virat Kohli are great friends. It’s been three seasons since you parted ways with RCB. What do you miss the most about Kohli or RCB for that matter?
In life we have to move on. Things change, nothing lasts forever but while I was sharing a dressing room with such a great player like Virat, it was fantastic, you know. We learned from each other. Once I was a part of that franchise, it was fantastic. It’s a great franchise where you get looked after. Unfortunately, we separated but like I said, nothing lasts forever and we have to move on. This is franchise cricket, life goes on, nothing is guaranteed. But it was great sharing a dressing room with Kohli and all the other players. Right now with Punjab Kings, I’m happy here as well. It’s been 2 great years with Punjab Kings as well so I enjoy each and every moment. Hopefully, there’s more to come!
Name a batsman and a bowler who caught your attention in IPL 2020…
It’s difficult to go back to be honest… From a young prospect and from a batting point of view you have Samson. You know, he scored 100 against us in the first game that was actually his 3rd IPL hundred. He’s been batting really, really well, there are so many talents here in India…
We have our very own West Indian Nicholas Pooran, a great talent as well! Once he gets a chance, I’m sure he’s gonna be just as destructive as any other batsman out there around the world!
From a bowling point of view for 2020 some new faces were knocking on the door… It’s just that I can’t actually recall any particular name right now. I’ll go with… we have a leg-spinner Bishoo, Ashwin (Murugan Ashwin) as well, you have two leg-spinner prospects from India’s point of view so they should actually be knocking on the door for Indian cricket as well. Let’s go with those two names for now, the rest are more senior bowlers, more seasoned within the IPL and international cricket so their names don’t need to be mentioned right now.
Take us through your Punjab Kings’ dressing room: Who is the serious guy, prankster, work-out freak, foodie and highly disciplined?
The prankster… I’ve got to go with Brar, he’s the funny guy. Him and Ashwin are good buddies, very joyful. I don’t know who’s a big eater… We try to keep it simple, you know, to keep each other up and have fun. That’s the biggest objective within this team – it’s all about having fun, some team bonding.
The team bubbles during the tournaments have certainly been tough for the players. How have you coped with it?
Yes, the bubble is very tough. But you just have to suck it up and move on. There’s nothing you can do about it. It’s something everyone is going through from a sportsperson’s view. Cricket, basketball, football organisations – everybody is doing it, it’s all the same. We know it’s a tough situation to be in. Hopefully, this thing can change. We know it can affect you mentally so we have to stay strong, try to keep yourself active as much as possible, talk to each other.
Who would you bet on to break your 333 and 175 records?
There’s a lot of talent and on any particular day it could be anyone – Rohit Sharma on his day – he can get close to 200, Aaron Finch can get 170-something in an international T20 game. Those guys… once they get going, 175 is in trouble. Who else? If Russel bats early, he can get it as well. It’s there for the taking for any particular batter. On any particular day if any particular batter is striking the ball well and in that zone, they can get it, you know. I would love to be the person to get my personal record, it’s still there for the taking.
When not dominating the cricket field, what’s The Universe Boss’ favourite thing to do?
I’m an artist now, making music, just having a bit of fun separate from the cricket which is very good. It’s been a couple of months now getting into it, it’s been really, really good, having a lot of fun, shooting music videos. It still takes time, you need to be disciplined as well. It’s a challenge and I’m accepting it, dealing with it and coping with it really well. I’m gonna keep making new tracks, I’ve started my own music label Triple Century Records. I love to have my fun, to enjoy myself, I’m a free spirit person. You know that we only have one life to live, so we’re trying to make the best use of it. Live your life with no regrets – that’s what I’m trying to do.
Regarding your music career… who have you drawn your musical inspiration from?
Actually, no one. But I grew up with music, I’m from Jamaica, from Kingston, as a kid I used to listen to a lot of music, to a lot of reggae, all the reggae legends like Bounty Killer and Beenie Man. I’m used to going to a lot of street parties and stage shows. I respect each and every artist, I know all the entertainers in Jamaica. The feedback I got on my own music was very good. Like I said, I’m enjoying it. I’ve done a few collaborations with some very interesting artists. I just released my latest and biggest one with Emiway which went viral in India and got over 10 million views on YouTube for the first two days. There are new songs to be released, it’s gonna be fun! You’ll see in the months to come.
And finally… please tell us – have you ever partied with Usain Bolt? We think you’ll make an unbeatable team on the dance floor…
We’ve partied many times together in Jamaica! He loves his party! We, Jamaicans, love to party and have fun! But we also work very hard when it comes to sport, training and all these things. So when it’s time to have a bit of fun, we make sure we have it with our music and dancing! I’ve partied with Usain many times, he’s a good lad.
This month the IPL 2021 returns with a bang – BOSS the betting with 10CRIC!