Chris Gayle’s explosive hitting has been the talking point of this year’s Champions League. After giving his team, RCB, explosive starts but failing to capitalize on it in the first two games, Gayle sought help to improve his longevity at the crease. He found in on the aisle behind P1 stand and between the two BCCI boxes at the Chinnaswamy. Yes, he met the doctor W. G. Grace (@WGGrace2) to fix his problems. Let’s eavesdrop on this conversation that Anil Kumble facilitated for Gayle.
CHRIS GAYLE: Maan, I have trouble lasting more than 5 overs maan.
W. G. GRACE: I don’t understand.
CHRIS GAYLE: You are a doctor and a great cricketer. How come you don’t understand?
W. G. GRACE: I mean, I understand what you said. I meant, no one understands what you tweet.
CHRIS GAYLE: It’s Jamaican maan. Not many Englishmen understand how and what we talk/tweet.
W. G. GRACE: What’s the thing you weild? I hear it weighs 10 lbs?
CHRIS GAYLE: My Bat? Weighs about 4 kilos. Why?
W. G. GRACE: Start using a 5 kilo bat for the first 6 and then change to a lighter bat.
CHRIS GAYLE: I’m not here to win the weightlifting gold. Tell me how I whack sixes and still last 20 overs.
W. G. GRACE: Reverse the bat – hold it upside down. That way you maximize hitting the yorkers with the bat handle. With fine-leg and third-man up these days, you are bound to edge more past them for boundaries and sixes. Difficult the conventional way.
CHRIS GAYLE: Are you mad? I’m facing Malinga tonight. There haven’t been many like him. He distracts people with his noodles hairdo and bowls round arm in a trajectory such that the ball is lost in his hair that is dyed white.
W. G. GRACE: Chris, when I see Malinga, I fancy facing him. I played in an era of the quickest round-armers. You’d be lucky to even last a delivery of the likes of Alfred Mynn and Edward Stevens.
CHRIS GAYLE: They were quicker than Malinga?
W. G. GRACE: They were so quick that the ball reached you even before they let it go!
CHRIS GAYLE: And you managed to survive them?
W. G. GRACE: More than just survive! I used to hit them for tons of runs with a stick of rhubarb. All the 100+ meter hits you hit these days, I hit them with just a stick of rhubarb.
CHRIS GAYLE: 100+ meters? Have you seen me smash Lee out of The Oval in the T20 world cup in 2009? Did you see me smash one out of Chinnaswamy on Friday night?
W. G. GRACE: Of course, I did. I hit one out of The Oval too. It is just that I hit it from Lord’s. It flew out of Lord’s and then eventually to The Oval and out of it too. It was a few kilometers long.
CHRIS GAYLE: What? I hit them higher. They come back with snow on them. Sometimes even with a visa stamp from another planet.
W. G. GRACE: I once hit a ball up in the air in a county game for Gloucestershire in 1877. It went to the skies and never came down. My runner and the non-striker ran for 3 days – a total of 1237 runs before one fainted and the other died. It is yet to come down.
CHRIS GAYLE: Nah. I score quicker than you.
W. G. GRACE: 1237 runs off 1 ball. That’s a strike rate of 123700. You score quicker?
CHRIS GAYLE: I run faster.
W. G. GRACE: I was a champion hurdler. Come one, tell me you are a champion sprinter and I’ll believe you.
CHRIS GAYLE: Look maan, I have sued my board. I bet you didn’t do that.
W. G. GRACE: I took money directly from the people who came to see me bat – I was an amateur still!
CHRIS GAYLE: Huh? All right maan, tell me how I smash Mumbai. First, Malinga.
W. G. GRACE: Like I said, bat with the bat held upside down. If you want the bat handle thicker, ask Kambli. He used 9 grips on the bat. Use it to deflect it to fine-leg and third-man. Complain to the umpire that you are losing the ball in the ehite streaks of his hair and have him dye his hair pink or fluorescent. He’ll get distracted and will retire hurt with feelings. It would be something to see a bowler retire “hurt”!
CHRIS GAYLE: Splendid maan. Haa-bha-jaan?
W. G. GRACE: Tell him that you are writing a book and that you saw Tendulkar fret at the thought of seeing you bowl to him. He’ll call for a press conference and might call you names. Then he’ll chuck full tosses at you. You can smash them and apologize to Tendulkar and the media later. That way you win the match and also get to keep your IPL contract.
CHRIS GAYLE: And finally, Franklin?
W. G. GRACE: Ensure you give him the greatest respect in the first couple of overs. Then Haa-bha-jaan is bound to give him the 19th over. Then he’ll bowl length and ensure you smash him this time to Auckland straight.
CHRIS GAYLE: Thanks maan. See ya after the win tonight. Care for a drink?