These had a been a lot of buzz on social media about Chris Gayle being swooped up by the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) franchise in the last minutes of the Indian Premier League (IPL) mega auctions.
It was former Indian opener Virender Sehwag, who murmured something to Preity Zinta in her ears as she raised the paddle for the West Indies opening batsman at his base price.
There were no other bidders for Gayle at the auction table, so when Richard Madley – the auctioneer – announced the southpaw going to KXIP squad, a round of applause echoed in the room. It is to be decoded as to why one of the most destructive T20 batsmen did not garner interest from other franchises.
Meanwhile, explaining the move to bring in Gayle at the dying moments, Sehwag, Director of Cricket at KXIP, said: “Simply having him (Gayle) in your side means a lot. Being an opening batsman, Gayle can prove to be a danger to any opposition.”
Sehwag also dropped a hint that the Caribbean star might not be a regular with the team. He went on to add, “Gayle’s brand value speaks for himself and how effective he is in this format. We decided to bring in Gayle as a backup option for the opening slots.”
Known for his fearless batting style from his playing days, Sehwag has certainly gathered a team just like him, players who would be ruthless in their approach and adding Gayle to that line-up is just fueling up the already loaded batting arsenal.
KXIP have a fiery batting unit this year. Besides Gayle, they have Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis and David Miller among a few other foreign recruits. Their stellar Indian options include that of Yuvraj Singh, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul and Karun Nair.