Chris Gayle was in the former Indian Premier League franchise Pune Warrior India’s plans and they were on the verge of signing the ‘Universe Boss’ as a replacement for injured all-rounder Angelo Matthews, former team-director of PWI, Abhijit Sarkar has revealed.
Gayle, who had been released by his former franchise, Kolkata Knight Riders before going unsold in the 2011 mega-auctions, was one of the names that Sarkar floated in the team-management meeting after Matthews was ruled out of the tournament, but his suggestion was immediately shot down by then-coach Geoff Marsh.
“So, it came in my mind when we did a conference call with both the coaches, our manager, who was associated with us – everybody together. So naturally the name [that] came [up] was [Chris Gayle]…‘why not take Chris Gayle as a replacement for Angelo Mathews?” Sarkar told Sportskeeda.
‘No no, he is not a disciplined guy’- When Geoff Marsh opposed Chris Gayle’s selection in PWI
Sarkar revealed that Geoff Marsh opposed the proposal by saying that Chris Gayle was not a disciplined guy and that his presence would spoil the team environment.
“Geoff Marsh immediately opposed it. He said, ‘No no, he is not a disciplined guy, he will make the atmosphere of the team very bad, it will be very difficult to control the team…I am not in favor of taking Chris Gayle.’ We tried to convince him but he said no,” Sarkar further revealed.
The idea was dropped after Marsh’s disapproval as PWI eventually roped in Australian all-rounder James Faulkner. It was a decision that PWI later rue as Gayle, who was signed by RCB as a replacement for Dirk Nannes, kickstarted his campaign with a whirlwind 55-ball 102 against KKR.
The ‘Universe Boss’ finished as the leading run-getter of the season despite having missed the first six games. Two years later, he smashed all the record books when he racked up 175 against the Pune Warriors.