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Christopher "Chris" Henry Gayle (born 21 September, 1979 in Kingstonmarker, Jamaicamarker) is a West Indianmarker cricketer who is captain of the West Indies cricket team and plays domestic cricket for Jamaica. He is a hard-hitting left-handed opening batsman with a wide-range of shots, who can also bowl right-arm off spin when called upon. Gayle is a successful One Day International player, with over 200 appearances for his country and 19 centuries. He is also a successful Test batsman, averaging just under 40.00, with a landmark 317 against South Africa. As a prominent one day player, Gayle was chosen by the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League - playing in the second competition in early 2009.


Gayle played for the West Indies at youth international level after he scored 100 on his first-class debut aged 19 for Jamaicamarker. He played his first One Day International 11 months later, and his first Test match 6 months after that. Gayle, who normally opens the innings when he plays for the West Indies, is a destructive batsman who is most effective playing square of the wicket. In July 2001, Gayle (175), together with Daren Ganga (89) established the record for opening partnerships at Queens Sports Clubmarker, Bulawayomarker when they put on 214 together against Zimbabwe.

However, generally speaking he had a slow start to his international career, but invigorated it in 2002, ending the year with three centuries against India in November and becoming the fourth West Indian to score 1,000 runs in a calendar year. Along with Vivian Richards, Sanath Jayasuriya, Brian Lara, and Sachin Tendulkar he is one of only five players in One Day International history to have three or more scores of 150. In 2005, Gayle was dropped for the first Test against South Africa along with six other players following a dispute over sponsorship issues (see below). He returned for the second test but had a poor series until the fourth Test, where he made his career-best: a match-saving 317. It was the first ever triple century against South Africa and up until Mahela Jayawardene made 374, it was the highest individual Test score against them.

In August 2005, Gayle joined Worcestershire for the rest of the English season, playing eight matches. He made two half-centuries in three first class matches and two half-centuries in five one-day matches, and won one Man of the Match award in the one-day National League. However, Worcestershire were relegated after Gayle made 1 in the final match against Lancashire. Gayle was named Player of the 2006 Champions Trophy, where the West Indies nearly defended the title which they won in 2004, being defeated in the final by Australia. Gayle scored three centuries and totaled 474 runs, 150 more than any other batsman, and also took eight wickets in as many matches. Gayle, in keeping with the rest of the West Indies team, had a poor World Cup in 2007. He recorded a series of low scores; the one exception being a blistering 79 off 58 balls against England in the West Indies' final match.


Gayle holds the record for the highest innings in a Twenty20 International, having scored 117 against South Africa in the first match of the 2007 World Twenty20, He remains the only centurion in this form of the game and is therefore the only cricketer to have hit centuries in all three formats of international cricket. In the semi-final match of the 2009 World Twenty20 against Sri Lanka, he became the first international player to carry his bat through the entire innings in this format of the game. In April 2008, Gayle was auctioned by the franchise Kolkata Knight Riders of the Indian Premier League, but missed the opening games due to a Sri Lankamarker tour to the Caribbeanmarker. When he finally joined the team, he missed out on the action due to a groin injury he picked up during that tour. Afterwards, he left to join the West Indiesmarker team for a home series against Australia, therefore not playing in the inaugural version of the IPL at all.

He played in the second IPL competition in early 2009, arriving for an away Test series against England very late, earning criticism about his commitment. His Test series went poorly, and the West Indies went on to lose both the Test and ODI series. Gayle, however, went to on score a match winning 88 in the first official match of the 2009 Twenty20, in a surprise victory over Australia.


Despite being regarded as a calm, cool cricketer, Gayle has been involved in a few controversies. In 2005 Gayle was involved in the dispute between the West Indies Cricket Board and a number of players over sponsorship issues. These players had personal sponsorship deals with Cable and Wireless, who used to sponsor West Indian cricket. However, since the West Indies had recently become sponsored by Cable and Wireless' rivals Digicel the West Indies Cricket Board demanded the players dropped their Cable and Wireless deals. When the players refused to back down, the West Indies Cricket Board dropped them for the first Test against South Africa. Gayle later cut his deal with Cable and Wireless and rejoined the side for the second Test. He was charged with conduct contrary to the spirit of cricket during a Test against New Zealand in March 2006, but was subsequently found not guilty. Later that year, during October's Champions Trophy tournament in India, he was fined 30 percent of his match fee after repeated verbal exchanges with the Australian batsman Michael Clarke. He also publicly criticised the West Indies Cricket Board during the 2007 tour of England which led to an official reprimand and warning.

Gayle also received criticism in early 2009 during West Indies' tour of England, where he commentated that he did not want to captain the West Indies anymore given the pressures involved, and that he "wouldn't be so sad" if Test cricket was superseded by Twenty20 cricket in the future. From the West Indies, both Viv Richards and Gary Sobers criticised Gayle's comments, as did opposite number Andrew Strauss. Gayle later commented that his statement had been quoted out of context, according to Julian Hunte, President of the West Indies Cricket Board. In an interview with Michael Atherton and the conclusion of a West Indies defeat in their tour of England, Gayle stated that he was not going to resign the captaincy.

Career performance graph

An innings-by-innings breakdown of Gayle's Test match batting career, showing runs scored (red bars) and the average of the last ten innings (blue line).


  1. Gayle ton fails to stop S Africa, BBC News, retrieved 11 September 2007
  2. List of highest individual International Twenty20 innings, Cricinfo, retrieved 20 January 2008
  3. West Indies sponsor rejects plans, BBC Sports, retrieved on 20 January 2008
  4. Gayle cleared of conduct charges, Fox Sports Australia, retrieved 20 January 2008
  5. Gayle fined for misconduct, ECB retrieved January 20, 2008
  6. Gayle in hot water, ECB retrieved 20 January 2008
  7. Interview with Michael Atherton - Award Presentation following England v West Indies, 2nd Test May 14-May 18 2009. Sky Sports May 18, 2009.


  • 75 Years of West Indies Cricket 1928-2000 by Ray Goble and Keith AP Sandiford ISBN 1-870518-78-0

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