Dolphins’ Gayle force

2013-11-06 00:00

LAST time West Indian batsman Chris Gayle breezed into Durban it was exactly that — barely a breeze with no damage left in his wake.

Two season back, he was signed to the Dolphins for the domestic T20 competition and injury saw him arrive in Durban, take delivery of his Dolphins shirt and that was that. He never lifted a bat or enjoyed the opportunity to take guard in the middle for the franchise.

This time around, players, administrators, coaches and least of all the fans, are hoping the Gayle will reach maximum force and leave a worthy path of destruction in and beyond Durban.

The Dolphins yesterday confirmed the signing of Gayle for the season’s Ram Slam T20 competition, which starts with the Dolphins meeting the Knights in Kimberley on January 10.

Gayle has become a household name on the T20 circuit, particularly in the Indian Premier League where his recent exploits for the Royal Challengers Bangalore made him a feared opponent with bat in hand.

He has more sixes and hundreds in the tournament than any other batsman and the Dolphins expect him to have people diving for cover around the country when he starts firing away.

Dolphins coach Lance Klusener summed it up best, saying, “I look forward to having the biggest gun on the planet at our disposal”.

So is KZNCU CEO Jesse Chellan. “It’s exciting to have such a strong player join the Dolphins,” he said. “He is a superstar in the T20 format and joins Graham Onions as our second overseas professional for the competition.”

Fa-eez Jaffar, president of KZNCU, said that having Gayle in the Dolphins ranks should generate huge interest in the competition and bring people back to Kingsmead. “This is a great scoop for us as a franchise. Chris adds international experience, depth and someone the youngsters in the squad can learn from,” he said. “We believe having a player such as Chris in our ranks will spark interest and lead to renewed spectator support in the competition.”

As for Gayle, he has already indicated his gameplan for the competition, which could have opposing teams and captains scratching their heads in frustration and bewilderment.

“I’m excited to join the team and feel I have some unfinished business after not turning out for them last time,” he said.

“There’s a great list of players and hopefully we will be in contention come the business end of the competition. I look forward to working with Lance and the rest of the guys.”

Gayle Twenty20 Stats:

Matches: 156

Runs: 5 752

HS: 175*

Avg: 43,90

Strike Rate: 151,84

100s: 11

50s: 38

4s: 444

6s: 411

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