Royal Challengers Bangalore is one of the most beloved teams since the inception of the Indian Premier League.
Over 16 seasons RCB has had some world class players in their squad. However, their endless wait for the first IPL title still goes on. RCB has more or less been defined by their explosive opening pair.
Over the years, RCB has boasted of some of the best openers who have played the sport and one of the biggest names to have taken up the opening duties for the side is Universe Boss, Chris Gayle.
Gayle joined RCB mid-season after going unsold in the 2011 auction. He announced his arrival in the most destructive fashion, thrashing the Kolkata Knight Riders bowlers to help himself to a 102*. Gayle, who has five IPL hundreds to his name in RCB’s red shade colours, recently returned to Chinnaswamy as he was inducted into the RCB Hall of Fame alongside his former teammate, South African icon AB de Villiers.
In an interaction between the duo on the latest episode of the RCB Bold Diaries, Gayle answered a few questions about his memories with the team.
Chris Gayle opened up on what he missed about RCB, stating, “What I miss most about RCB is the team’s environment. It was a fantastic environment and no matter what, we lost or we won, we were always together. We were always sitting together, whether it’s in a room or at an after party. I miss that camaraderie. It’s fantastic how we built that bond, it was absolutely superb,” Gayle said on RCB bold Diaries episode.
He continued, “We were a very tight group. If we would fall unwell, everyone would respect each other which is really fantastic. I enjoyed each and every moment, especially the first year when we actually arrived, that welcome was just fantastic.”
Talking about RCB and Chinnaswamy’s role in his life, Chris Gayle said, “It has played a huge part. Not only has it played a big part but it is one of the best venues that I have actually played at. The fans and the roar, the chants, they are absolutely fantastic. I get goosebumps when I play here. A lot of times, it has also got me into a lot of trouble. Because I have tried to please the crowd as much as I could,” Gayle said on RCB bold Diaries episode.
“I always wanted to please the crowd as they would chant ‘we want six’, ‘we want six’ and I would try to give them exactly. Sometimes, it would come off, and sometimes it wouldn’t. But then again, it is one of the finest stadiums that I have played in. The crowd is indeed the best,” Gayle continued.
While Gayle’s domination with the bat is well documented, the story of how he joined the team in 2011 is one that is quite interesting. When asked by de Villiers about how it all fell in place for him, the Universe Boss said, “When it happened, I was not even selected by the West Indies team nor was I selected by any franchise in the IPL auction,” Gayle said on RCB bold Diaries episode.
He continued, “So when I got a call from Anil and Vijay, I was in a nightclub. They told me to visit the embassy and get a visa for myself and arrive on a particular Saturday. And as soon as I arrived, the energy and the buzz was right here. We had some problems with the NOC and I couldn’t play the first home game. Then I arrived in Kolkata and in the first game I played, I got a century, against my old team and my former team, Kolkata Knight Riders. It was very generous. I would be straightforward that I need to do something for my fans. I need to show them how I can bring out the best.”
RCB will play their first match of the IPL 2023 against Mumbai Indians on April 2 at M Chinnaswamy Stadium. (ANI)