He danced to Punjabi songs, wooed girls with witty one-liners, and spoke his heart out about making it big. West Indies cricketer Christopher Henry Gayle was at his charming best as he visited HT City to meet the winners of Stars In The City Contest on Friday afternoon.
Known to party wild, the 36-year-old warned us to not underestimate the spirit of our Indian cricketers. “Sure, they are a bit shy. May be there are rules or something like that. But don’t be fooled into thinking they can’t party. Indian players love to party. Mandeep Singh taught me a lot of Punjabi moves. Sarfaraz Khan, too, knows a lot of moves, but he’s still young... lots to learn,” said Gayle, who loves it when Indian women want to party with him. “I love to see so many ladies come to matches. But more importantly, they even come to the parties and I love to party with them,” added the left-handed batsman.
The Jamaica born cricketer is in Delhi to talk about his biography Six Machine. What can you expect from the book? Everything from what Gayle’s childhood was like to how he’s become one of the most destructive batsmen in world. But he was nervous when he first visited India in 1999. “I got a call that I have to go India to be part of the West Indies A team. I remember I was so nervous while I was going. India was so far and it’s my first trip there. So I made my first ever first class debut in Pune, India. Since then, India has become a home away from home,” he said.
Shoaib Akhtar is the scariest bowler I have ever faced: Chris Gayle
It’s unlikely that cricketer Chris Gayle would be scared of a bowler, considering the fact that it’s the bowlers who go through sleepless nights when they are about to bowl at him. However, Pakistani bowler Shoaib Akhtar is perhaps the only one that has scared the Jamaica-born batsman. In a candid chat with Sonal Kalra, National Editor Entertainment and Lifestyle, as a part of HT City Stars in the City, Gayle admitted to the jitters that he got, only to clarify that it happened very early in his career.
“Normally I don’t get scared by any bowler. But Shoaib Akhtar was one bowler who I was really scared of when I first started playing. I remember one of the matches, I let the ball go and Moin Khan (Pakistani wicket keeper) collected it in his gloves. The dew on the ball splashed every where, because he bowled it with such speed. At that moment I told myself, ‘Chris! You are not made for this. He is here to kill you!’,” says Gayle, who was in the Capital to promote his biography, Six Machine by Penguin Random House India.
Besides, Shoaib, Gayle isn’t scared of anyone and even says that he thinks about hitting sixes every time he is hitting a ball. “I don’t know about other batsmen, but for me I want to hit every ball for a six! Sometimes when fans shout ‘We want sixer’, you have to hit it because you have to entertain them and make them happy,” he says.