Childhood & Early Life
Chris Gayle was born Christopher Henry Gayle, in Kingston, Jamaica, into a lower middle-class family, on September 21, 1979. He was the fifth of the six children in the family. His parents faced a lot of financial issues while raising their children. His father, Dudley Gayle, worked as a policeman, while his mother sold peanuts to earn extra money to run the household.
Although his parents had no connection with cricket, Chris’s grandfather was a well-known cricketer. He had played some club cricket back in his younger days. This led Chris to become increasingly attracted toward the game.
Growing up in a huge family and faced with poverty, Chris also worked as a rag-picker for some time during the financial crisis that his family faced. He also once admitted to stealing for some time to support his family.
He was not academically good and focused all his attention on cricket. He graduated from ‘Excelsior High School’ in Jamaica and also joined a local Jamaican cricket club named ‘Lucas Cricket Club.’
Chris claims that his early years with ‘Lucas’ were the transformative years of his life and also believes that those years helped him truly understand the game. He slowly started gaining attention from the selectors by playing in local matches. In 1998, he made his debut for the West Indian youth international team.
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In 1999, Chris Gayle made his international debut as part of the main West Indian team. His style of playing resonated well with the team management. In July 2001, Chris became some sort of a national sensation when he scored 175 runs against Zimbabwe. He also set the record for the longest opening partnership, with Daren Ganga, which stretched for 214 runs.
Despite this marvellous knock, Chris was not considered to be a regular player for the national team, as the century was against Zimbabwe, which was a weak team.
Then came the year 2002, when he made the most of his spot on the national team. By the end of the year, he scored three centuries in a series against India and became only the third West Indian cricketer to score 1000 runs in one calendar year. He thus entered the league of all-time greats such as Brian Lara and Sir Vivian Richards.
Back then, he was known as a hard-hitter of the ball. However, that was not the ideal style of playing in a Test match. Hence, he kept getting in and dropping out of the national Test team. In 2005, he shut the mouths of all his critics when he became the first player ever to score a Test triple-century against South Africa. The record was later broken by Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene.
Around that time, Chris complained of dizziness and weakness on the field and had to leave the field in the middle of the game a few times. Upon being taken to hospital, he was diagnosed with congenital heart defect. A heart surgery was conducted on Chris to eliminate the problem from its roots.
He performed well in the 2006 ‘Champions Trophy’ tournament. Although his team lost in the finals to Australia, Chris was named the “Player of the Tournament.” The honor was awarded to him after he scored 474 runs and took eight wickets in the tournament. However, his performance remained below average at the ‘World Cup’ the following year.
In the 2007 ‘World Twenty20,’ Chris set the first record of being the highest-scorer after he scored 117 runs against South Africa. He also became the first international cricketer to have scored centuries in all the three formats of the game.
Chris’s reputation of being a hard-hitter made him one of the best choices for the ‘Indian Premier League’ in 2008. The auctions took place in April 2008, and Chris was acquired by the ‘Kolkata Knight Riders,’ owned by Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan. Chris missed the first few games of the tournament due to an ongoing series against Sri Lanka.
In December 2009, during a match against Australia, Chris became the fifth-fastest century-scorer in a Test match. He took 70 balls to reach the 100-run mark. In November 2010, he created another record as he became the fourth player in the world, after Donald Bradman, Brian Lara, and Virender Sehwag, to score two triple-centuries in Test cricket.
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In November 2012, Chris became the first-ever cricketer to hit a six off the first ball in a Test match against Bangladesh. In February 2015, he became the fourth player in the world to score a double-hundred in an ODI.
Chris’s forté lies in the limited-formats of the game. He has played 50 international T20 matches till now and has scored 1519 runs, with an average of 35.33 runs. He has scored 3563 ‘IPL’ runs in 96 matches, with an average of 42.93 runs per match. With six ‘IPL’ centuries to his name, he happens to be one of those who have made the highest number of centuries in the tournament.
He has also contributed to the longer formats of the game, as he has played 284 ODI matches for West Indies and has scored 9727 runs, with an average of 37.11. In the 103 Test matches that he has played, he has scored 7214 runs, with an average of 42.18 runs per inning.
Chris Gayle is in a long-term relationship with Natasha Berridge. They have a daughter named Krisallyna, but Chris does not have any plans to marry. Chris announced the birth of his daughter on ‘Instagram’ in April 2016.
Chris’s autobiography is titled ‘Six Machine: I Don’t Like Cricket ... I Love It.’
He follows football ardently and is a huge fan of ‘Real Madrid.’ His favorite footballer is Cristiano Ronaldo.
Despite his usually calm and happy-go-lucky personality on the field, he has become the center of controversies quite a few times. In 2009, he stated that he would not mind if Test cricket were to be completely eliminated and taken over by the T20 format. He received a lot of flak for his statement.
In April 2011, Chris had a disagreement with the team management of West Indies and did not play for his national team the entire year.
He was pulled into controversy again, during the ‘Big Bash League’ in January 2016, during an interview with Mel McLaughlin. Chris asked her if they could “have a drink after” and later added “Don’t blush, baby,” a comment that was viewed as derogatory and misogynistic. This was met with a huge uproar, and a heavy fine was imposed on him. He apologized later and said that he had intended it to be a joke.