Now 42, the physically imposing Gayle boasts career numbers and performances her rivals can only envy.
He is the only man to have scored a triple test century, a double one-day international century and a century in the T20 internationals, the batting Grand Slam.
At T20 Internationals, he has managed 1,854 races, two centuries averaging just under 30.
However, since his second century T20 at the 2016 World Cup, where West Indies went on to claim a second world title, the races have dried up.
The Jamaican star has made just half a century in the last five years internationally in 26 innings.
He even lost his place at the top of the batting order, reaching number three in the 2021 home series against South Africa and Australia.
“Chris Gayle comes to his last major international tournament not on merit but on reputation,” Caribbean respected. Cricket Journalist and broadcaster Fazeer Mohammed told AFP.
“His declining numbers since the last T20 World Cup in 2016 mean that unless there is a notable transformation in the UAE, he will be little more than a peripheral figure in purely cricket terms for the defending champions.”
Gayle’s selection, as well as 36-year-old sailor Ravi Rampaul, whose last appearance in the T20 was six years ago, divided opinion in the region.
There was dismay that Gayle was reportedly not required to meet fitness standards, ruling out highly regarded hitter Sherfane Rutherford and match-winning spinner Sunil Narine.
Traveler Gayle has also battled for runs in his global franchise league engagements and is under 50 in his last 10 innings.
This poor form led to a nasty media feud this week with former West Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose, who suggested Gayle was not “an automatic choice.”
It’s all a long way from his mesmerizing, undefeated 175 of 66 balls that he made at the IPL in 2013, which remains the highest score ever achieved in a T20 game.
However, he refuses to view himself as a spent force, believing that the 2021 T20 World Cup in Oman and the United Arab Emirates will be a fitting send-off for a player who has often been the right man in the right place in the right moment.
In the inaugural World Cup in 2007 against South Africa, he scored the first century in the format: 117 of 57 balls in Johannesburg.
In the West Indies’ victorious 2012 campaign, he reached three half centuries, including an undefeated 75 in the semi-final victory over Australia.
He also possesses a burning desire to have the last word in a T20 World Cup final after having done just seven races in the 2012 and 2016 masterpieces.
“Don’t worry about the numbers, Chris Gayle has no runs, they’ll be 42 soon, they should be happy to see Chris Gayle on the field still,” Gayle said, speaking in the third person after scoring a 67 against Australia in July. this year in Saint Lucia.
“Hopefully Chris lasts as long as possible. Cherish those moments. Commentators, don’t put statistics on Chris Gayle without scoring half a century.
“Just respect the ‘Boss of the Universe’ by playing cricket and having fun. Enjoy the moment.”