Gayle: Don't call me a T20 mercenary

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West Indies batsman Chris Gayle is proud of his Twenty20 record, but doesn't enjoy it when people refer to him as a 'mercenary' and neglect to mention his Test record when discussing his achievements.

West Indies batsman Chris Gayle is proud of his Twenty20 record, but doesn't enjoy it when people refer to him as a 'mercenary' and neglect to mention his Test record when discussing his achievements.

Gayle has a Test average of 42.45, and has 15 centuries in 97 matches, so he gets frustrated when all anyone writes about him is how he plays for T20 leagues around the world when not on duty for the Windies.

Gayle told <i>The Indian Express</i>: "I have been giving my all for West Indies for 13 years now. So it's sad when people just forget all that I've achieved for the Caribbean and use such derogatory terms.

"I have scored runs and won matches in Test cricket as well. There are other cricketers too who get bracketed in that category. It's unfair but you can't stop tongues from wagging."

Despite his protestations, Gayle doesn't shy away from his T20 superstar reputation, and says the flashy game has evolved into a major part of the cricketing landscape, whether purists like it or not.

Gayle said of the shortest format: "It's the future and is growing bigger and bigger every day. Test cricket will survive, but you have to be realistic and accept things as they are.

"You can come to the ground for two-and-a-half hours knowing that you will be enthralled for every minute you spend there. It's become a serious business now. You have everyone from movie stars to celebrities coming in and trying to have their own piece of the pie."

Gayle, like a few other players in the T20 arena, plays for a few teams across the world, most famously for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, and most recently for the Jamaica Tallawahs in the CPL.

He says that playing for various teams can be fun, but there is also a lot of pressure on him to do well, given he is usually the star attraction and there has been a lot of money spent on getting him into the side.

He said: "I have been with (IPL franchise) Royal Challengers Bangalore for a few years now so that connect is there. But it's difficult to just go somewhere and feel the pulse of that city. I just go with an open mind.

"It's not easy, landing up in a dressing room on short notice and having to get acclimatised immediately. I have been doing this year after year. And I have got used to the whole process.

"The secret is to not put pressure on yourself to fit into the ecosystem. The best way to make a mark is by winning matches for the team. The expectations are massive.

"They don't just want runs or sixes from Chris Gayle but he has to entertain with bat, ball and in the field. Luckily, I love having fun and ensuring that the fans and everyone is getting their money's worth."

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