Preparations for the next Indian Premier League (IPL) are in full swing and BCCI is all geared up to host the auctions for the 10th edition. Keeping the IPL auctions in mind, franchisees have started scratching their head for whom to be retained and who to let go. This brings us to the question that will Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) retain their big-hitter Chris Gayle? Do not forget that Gayle, at his best, is devastating. He is the first player to have scored a century in international Twenty20 cricket; the only man to score seven or more tons in the Twenty20 format, and is the leading six-hitter in Twenty20s. This Jamaican batsman is all about power and brute force. Besides playing for his home team, Jamaica, in the Caribbean Twenty20 competition and the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, Gayle struts his stuff for various T20 franchises around the world.
He has enjoyed success everywhere he’s played, as no boundary or total is beyond his reach. The big man from the Caribbean is also a safe catcher and a handy off-spinner. In three years he has donned the RCB cap, Gayle has single-handedly won matches for them. Remember the 2012 season?
The big Jamaican shattered all boundaries, piling up agony worth 733 runs over the bowlers, scoring at a rate of 160 runs per 100 balls. The next year he took the T20 world by storm with a knock of 175 against Pune Warriors India. The swaggerer from Caribbean was too valuable an asset to let go for the Bengaluru-based franchise and hence he was retained ahead of the 2014 season. But will the South Indian team want to spend their money on retaining the old horse?
As per Gayle standards, the former West Indies captain struggled to make an impact in IPL since the 2014 IPL season. In the sixth IPL edition, Gayle played nine matches but only managed to score 196 runs with the highest score being 46. Talking about his last two seasons with RCB, Gayle played 19 matches in total and only managed to bag 447 runs, which is still not par with his reputation.
Also, Chris Gayle has now turned 38, which means that he is nearing the end of his career and for RCB it would best to spend their money on retaining future prospects like Yuzvendra Chahal or Kedar Jadhav. In the meantime, if RCB thinks that they still want the service of the ‘giant man’ they can use their Right-to-Match card and get Gayle back at a low price rather than spending a hefty fee. Whatever the case, it would be a big gamble for RCB management to decide if it’s worth spending a huge sum on their old horse or go around retaining a young blood.