Cricket

World Cup 2019: Chris Gayle says bowlers are afraid of him, but won’t say it on camera

The Universal Boss is pretty confident that bowlers across the world are still “scared” of him even though they might not admit it on camera.

Chris Gayle has been in splendid form in the twilight of his career. The universe Boss recently scored 2 centuries and 2 fifties against World Cup favourites England in the ODI series back home in the Caribbean, amassing 424 runs at an average of 106 in four matches, and put himself back in World Cup contention with some amazing batting in the IPL 2019 as well. Gayle, who will be appearing in his fifth World Cup tournament, on Wednesday claimed that that bowlers across the world are “scared” of him but would not admit it on camera.

“Youngsters coming at my head — it’s not as easy as it was like one time before. I was quicker then. But they’ll be wary. They know what the Universe Boss is capable of. I’m sure they will have it in the back of their mind, ‘Hey, this is the most dangerous batsman they’ve ever seen in cricket’,” Gayle told cricket.com.au on the eve of their unofficial warm-up match against Australia.

When asked if opponents are scared of him, Gayle replied, “Can’t you tell? You go ask them. Go ask them on camera. They’re going to say, no, they’re not scared. But you ask them off the camera, they will say, ‘Yeah, he’s the man. He’s the man.’ They’re going to say, ‘he’s the man.’ But they won’t say it (on camera), they won’t be frank and upfront and say, ‘Listen to me straight up, Chris Gayle is the man. But I’m enjoying it. I’m always enjoying the battle against fast bowlers, it’s good. Sometimes those things actually give you extra drive as a batter. When you have a battle, I like those challenges.”

Universe Boss Gayle has hammered 326 sixes in Indian Premier League (IPL), most by any player. Surprisingly, no other player has even reached the 300-mark as the second positioned batsman, AB de Villiers has just 212 sixes. The 39-year old also admitted that it is hard to quit if you enjoy the sport while expressing that it is just the World Cup title which will satisfy him.

“To be honest with you, it’s the fans, it’s the love of the game. But sometimes sportsmen don’t know when to walk away. You might think you’re still at your peak but eventually, you have to leave the game at some point. But enjoying is important. I’m enjoying it and having fun. Especially with a great group of guys. All this is going to play a key part for me as an individual. These guys spur you on and the fans are always asking you for sixes and those sort of things give you the extra drive. There’s nothing to go out there and prove, the only thing that would be nice is to win the World Cup,” Gayle mentioned.

“I am still in good nick. I had a not-so-bad IPL, coming after the home series against England. The good thing about it is I’ve been playing cricket. It’s important for me to keep playing and get some games under my belt and come here to the UK and start with a few warm-up games to see where you are at. It’s a long tournament. For me, personally, I just have to monitor it as much as possible and just get the mindset right,” Gayle signed off.

West Indies will open their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign against Pakistan on May 31 at Trent Bridge.

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