Former India and Australia openers Sunil Gavaskar and Matthew Hayden may have not agreed on the deserved recipient of the ICC ODI Player of the Decade, but both legends have absolutely no difference in their respective opinions as to who should be the T2OI ‘Player of the Decade’, with the duo unanimously picking ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle for the same.
The duo gave their views on the same during the Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’. Matthew Hayden started off by hailing Chris Gayle as a force to reckon with in the shorter version of the game.
Chris Gayle has two triple-centuries in Test cricket and one double-ton in the ODI format, but Mathew Hayden reckoned that the image of the southpaw in the mind of cricket fans is that of a T20 globetrotter who stamped his authority in leagues around the world.
“For me, Chris Gayle is someone who has been such a force within the shorter version of the game.” Matthew Hayden told Star Sports.
”Let’s not forget the fact that he has also got a Test three-hundred as well but he has been that player in my head who has gone through all the T20 tournaments and he has been that sort of seasoned veteran of the game.” he added.
Sunil Gavaskar on why Chris Gayle deserves to win the T20I Player Of The Decade award
Sunil Gavaskar concurred with Matthew Hayden besides adding that another reason why Chris Gayle should be picked for the prestigious award is that he has played a key role in the West Indies winning two T20 World Cups- 2012 and 2016.
“As Matthew said earlier on, it is also a question of who has actually helped his country to win the World Cup. And the West Indies have won two back-to-back T20 World Cups.” Sunil Gavaskar said.
”Therefore, clearly Chris Gayle who has been a big part of those two wins, as far as I am concerned he is the leading contender because he has changed the game.” he added.
The former opener, while alluding to Gayle’s highest T20 score of 175, further added that the award should go to the Jamaican swashbuckler considering the fact that he has scored the number of runs in a single innings which a whole team usually managed in a 20-over game.
”When teams reach 175, this man has got that as his highest score in T20 cricket. Therefore, as far as I am concerned the ICC T20I Cricketer of the Decade is hands down the Universe Boss.” he signed.
Chris Gayle has been nominated for the ICC T20I ‘Player of the Decade’ award alongside Virat Kohli, Lasith Malinga, Imran Tahir, Rashid Khan, and Aaron Finch.