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WB STUMPS | 21 SEPTEMBER, 2016

The Story of 'Six Machine' Chris Gayle


Universe Boss, King Gayle, Master Storm, Spartan — no sobriquet is sufficient to illustrate Chris Gayle’s domination in the middle. The southpaw, who batted alongside Brian Lara to the recent Dwayne Bravo, built his own brand over the years. He calls spade a spade, he is blunt and that is one of the prime reasons why he invites trouble. “I’m a weirdo, I’m a weirdo, you think you know me, you don’t know me,” — is how he gets off the mark in his autobiography ‘Six Machine’ launched on Friday here in presence of former India cricketer Virender Sehwag and BCCI president Anurag Thakur, who unveiled the book published by Viking (Penguin UK).

So, what is the autobiography all about? “Stories and secrets I have waited to share for a long time,” said Gayle, who also wrote about his impoverished childhood in Jamaica and his journey from a shy kid to a cricket giant — the much sought after Twenty20 swashbuckling cricketer in franchises across the globe.

Football left a deep impact in Gayle’s mind and he often compared himself to Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. “If you see Ronaldo, that’s me playing,” became a world-class quote ahead of FIFA World Cup in 2014. The athlete within him is a flock of numerous champions.

“If Zlatan were a cricketer, it’s the sort of thing he would be trying,” wrote Gayle about chasing records. The 36-year-old asserted that he never went after triple Test tons twice, he is embedded with super powers. It came naturally.

However, he loves India and no wonder he released his first book here; like compatriot Bravo who launched his ICC World Twenty20 anthem ‘Champion’ earlier this year during the tournament.

But there is more to Gayle than cricket alone. The world will never forget his ‘Don’t blush baby’ comment to an Australian TV reporter during Big Bash League. The cricketer apologised when asked to, but, kept the boss in him intact. How? He named his baby girl, born in March this year, Blush.

“Being me is fun. I don’t believe in boring. And Six Machine is me, in every way,” he flaunted in style during the launch.

Sehwag whose batting had similar traits acknowledged the Jamaican.

“Gayle is one of the genuine people around, fun-loving and flamboyant. It has been a pleasure to interact with him. His love for cricket shines in his batting,” said Sehwag, who also has two Test triple hundreds under his belt.

“I am glad that more people will know about the real Chris, the persona after reading ‘Six Machine’,” he added.

The party animal — who built poles with a strip-club like ambience at his residence — never compromised on his lifestyle. Cricket never suffered, his reputation did.

“I party harder than any other cricketer; yet I’m strong and mighty when the pretenders have retired. I speak English to the world and ‘patwah’ with my friends, the kid from the bad part of town who made it good,” says the book.

BCCI boss Thakur summed up the evening saying how Gayle will be remembered for his towering sixes, like the title of his book.

“He is one of those fine cricketers whose success will not solely be measured basis the score sheet. He has enthralled the audience with his batting skills, and will certainly continue to do so,” said Thakur.

(The book is available for Rs 599 at all bookstores and online shopping portals.)

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