30 minutes before the game, a picture was posted by ESPNCricinfo on Twitter. It was a picture of Yuzvendar Chahal monkeying around with the Universe Boss, Chris Gayle. It brought a smile to everyone’s face but it was strange to see Chris Gayle in the colours of Kings XI Punjab. It has been 3 years since he was dropped by RCB, we’ve seen him play game after game for KXIP and still, it all seems unfamiliar.
The term ‘Gayle Storm’ cropped up in 2011 when Chris Gayle scored the most number of runs in the fourth edition of IPL. That season Gayle went unsold in the auctions and was also dropped from the West Indies team. He was busy working on his fitness and partying when he got called up by RCB mid-season. His arrival was dramatic and single handedly changed the fortunes for RCB that season. Since then, Gayle was the X-factor and the backbone for the team.
Thanks to him RCB as a franchise, and the fans have had a lot to cherish and celebrate. One such moment is the game against Pune Warriors India back in 2013. It was a cloudy day in Bengaluru, and Chinnaswamy witnessed the best version of Gayle Storm. He scored 175 runs with 13 fours and 17 sixes. He scored the fastest century in the history of T20 cricket and was beyond destructive. The fans ran for cover and the fielders didn’t move an inch.
Shankaran Suresh was in the stands that day and he vividly recalls, “I had my internals the following day and I was contemplating whether to sit at home and study or go and support the time that I hold so dear to my heart. I decided to go for the game and what an amazing decision that was. To be able to sit in the stands in the presence of so many amazing fans for that historic knock, the feeling is unexplainable.”
Witnessing the Gayle Storm while he wears another jersey is unsettling because: one, we have seen what he can do, and wouldn’t wish for the storm in our wildest of dreams, and two, deep down, in our hearts, he is still a part of RCB.
Reported by Shriya Rajachandra
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