Chris Gayle may not be all grace and touch of a left-hander like Brian Lara, but the Jamaican has scaled a peak that will be very hard to climb for contemporary cricketers.
When the burly Jamaican deposited England paceman Jofra Archer for a towering six in the final over of the Kings XI Punjab innings in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, Gayle scored his 1001st over boundary in T20 cricket.
Gayle missed his 23rd T20 century by a run and KXIP lost the IPL 2020 match against Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets but the 41-year-old's achievement was appreciated by the game's legends.
Virender Sehwag, whose game was also built on power and timing, called Gayle "T20 ka Bradman."
Known for his witty comments, Sehwag called the Universe Boss, 'entertainment ka baap' (father of entertainment)
Out of the 1000-plus sixes the 41-year-old Gayle has clubbed in T20 cricket, 349 of those have come in the IPL. KXIP still have one more match left in the league phase.
Gayle's total of T20 sixes is over 300 more than second-placed West Indian Kieron Pollard, who had hit 690 sixes till Mumbai Indians' last match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on October 28 and over 500 more than third-place Brendon McCullum, who struck 485. McCullum is now head coach of Kolkata Knight Riders.
Just witnessed a 41 yr getting the most amazing 99 !!! In doing so he hit his 1000 six in T20 cricket ... Without question @henrygayle has to be the greatest T20 player of all time ... #UniverseBoss #IPLinUAE— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) October 30, 2020
One thousand sixes! The greatest. @henrygayle. The fire still burns bright.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 30, 2020
BREAKING: ‘Universe Boss’ âÂ¦@henrygayleâÂ© becomes first batsman to hit 1000 sixes in T20 cricket, after smashing 99 off 63 balls with 8 sixes.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 30, 2020
The guy’s 41! He’s also the ðÂÂÂ
Congrats Chris ðÂÂÂðÂÂÂðÂÂÂðÂÂÂ pic.twitter.com/49nsrmOdpl
Cricket pundit and former England Test captain Nasser Hussain said Gayle is just not brute strength.
"He ticks a lot of boxes. He is a big, strong bloke. He uses a big bat. But when he hits all these sixes, look how still his head position is," the former England captain said of Gayle in SkySports.
"He gets that leg out of the way, gets a very solid base and hardly moves his head. He never over-hits. There is muscle but a lot of talent and technique as well.
"Any youngster, boy or girl, should look at how still he is at the crease. He makes it look so easy." said Hussain.
Gayle's milestone has made the world sit up and take notice.
1ï¸ÂâÂ£0ï¸ÂâÂ£0ï¸ÂâÂ£0ï¸ÂâÂ£ T20 sixes for Christopher Henry Gayle.— ICC (@ICC) October 30, 2020
That's it. That's the post ðÂ¤· pic.twitter.com/wkCViJAYmX
Gayle's six statistics
349 - Number of sixes for Gayle in the Indian Premier League, the most by a batsman in any T20 league.
135 - The most number of T20 sixes Gayle has hit in a calendar year, in 2015. He has smashed 100-plus sixes in six different years (2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017).
18 - The highest number of sixes Gayle has struck in one T20 innings, for Rangpur Riders against Dhaka Dynamites in the 2017 Bangladesh Premier League final.
18 - Number of times Gayle has hit 10 or more sixes in a T20 match. No other batsman has done it more than three times.
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