Gayle, McCullum set to take tournament by storm

Saturday, November 18, 2017

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DHAKA, Bangladesh (CMC) — West Indies star Twenty20 batsman Chris Gayle said he is looking forward to rekindling his opening partnership with Brendon McCullum during the Bangladesh Premier League.

Gayle and McCullum are set to feature in the Rangpur Riders' match against Comilla Victorians today at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

The pair previously opened together for Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2009 Indian Premier League T20 Tournament.

“We know how destructive Brendon McCullum is and it is a privilege to open the batting with him again,” said Gayle.

“We opened together way back in the IPL. Now, we are joining forces together again. It is new for both of us to come in and go for a blast, but we have experience. The expectation is high on us to deliver. We want to try our best and win the game.”

Gayle added: “Everyone in Bangladesh wants to be entertained by two great entertainers in myself and McCullum. This is why the pressure is going to be on us. But we expect these things.

“The crowd is going to be very noisy. It is going to be fantastic if we can get off to a start, hitting a lot of boundaries and get the crowd excited. Maybe the other guys can build up from it and see what total we can set or get.”

Gayle has played for four different teams in the BPL — Barisal Burners (2012), Dhaka Gladiators (2013), Barisal Bulls (2015) and Chittagong Vikings (2016) — and is the holder of four tournament records.

He has the most centuries (three), the highest strike-rate (171.95) and batting average (54.16) — minimum 10 innings — and the most sixes of 60 in the tournament.

“We are both thinking the same,” said Gayle. “We have to work on our game plan. There's nothing to prove between me and McCullum.

“Normally, I don't plan on the number of sixes in a competition. Hopefully, I get off to a good start and maybe set the momentum for the tournament.

He said: “Most times I go out to bat, my objective is to entertain the fans. They have spent money and want to be entertained. Sometimes I get into trouble for trying to hit too many sixes. When it comes off, it is brilliant and everyone is happy.

“We just have to go out there, enjoy it and exploit the conditions and play according to the situation.”

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