If Indian Premier League is about big sixes – Chris Gayle is the man of the Indian Premier League.
If the IPL is about scoring centuries consistently – Chris Gayle is the man about IPL more than any other player.
If the IPL is about the strike rate – Chris Gayle is the man about the IPL, having a phenomenon career strike rate of 152.08, the best among the current players and second only to Virender Sehwag (155.44).
But if the biggest professional competition in cricket is about money and multi-crore rupee contracts, the IPL money meter has let down Chris Gayle by not keeping the pace with the batting performances of the “destroyer on the crease”.
The man who deserves to be among the leaders on overall IPL salary charts does not even head the Insidesport MONEYBALL rankings even among his Caribbean compatriots.
Gayle is in headlines for his match-winning, unbeaten, rapid-fire 102 for Kings XI Punjab against the table toppers SunRisers Hyderabad on Thursday. A player credited with the highest numbers of sixes and centuries in the IPL history will simply be credited among the most successful stories of the 11-seasons old professional league. So is Chris Gayle.
One of the most successful professionals in the pro competition will also deserve the best professional contracts. But Gayle does not.
The Giant Caribbean figures at the 16 position in the Insidesport MONEYBALL, the digital salary calculator for professional players, rankings list. Fellow West Indians Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine are placed several notches above Gayle at the 11th and 12th salary rankings respectively. Gayle till date has earned only ₹52.56 crore in salaries for all 11 seasons of the IPL. Pollard has ₹58.33 crore and Narine ₹ 57.74 crore from IPL salaries.
The man to start his IPL journey with Kolkata Knight Riders with a ₹3.2 crore salary deal in 2008 is their year representing his third franchisee – Kings XI Punjab. After first three years with KKR, Gayle has served Royal Challengers Bangalore for seven successive seasons. Surprisingly, there was no bidder for Gayle during the player auction for the 2018 season.
One of the most successful and entertaining stories of the IPL could have ended abruptly, had KXIP not decided to sign the West Indies opener for his base price of ₹ 2 crores. Gayle in two games this season has scored 167 runs, ensuring that KXIP stays in the top half of the IPL 2018 points table.