Gayle storm to hit Nepal in MarchThe Jamaican all-rounder has been signed on by Pokhara Rhinos for the upcoming Everest Premier League.
Pokhara Rhinos have signed on West Indies' explosive all-rounder Chris Gayle for the upcoming season of the Everest Premier League. The left-handed batsman and right-arm off-break bowler will make his appearance at the Twenty20 tournament to be held between March 14-28 at the Tribhuvan University grounds in Kirtipur.
"Nepal, get ready for the Gayle storm," said the Jamaican cricketer, who had captained the West Indies Test side from 2007 to 2010, in a video message. "I will be visiting Nepal for the biggest sporting event, the Everest Premier League, come and support my team, Pokhara Rhinos. It is going to be dashing," Gayle said.
Gayle, admired around the globe for his aggressive batting style, is considered to be one of the greatest batsmen ever to have played Twenty20 cricket. He has scored a triple century in Test cricket, a double hundred in One Day Internationals and a ton in Twenty20 internationals.
"The signing amount is protected by the contract," said the EPL in a statement on Thursday. "The signing of the Jamaican superstar will not just strengthen the batting lineup of the team, but will also add to the entire learning experience for the rest of the squad."
Deepa Agarwal, owner of the Pokhara Rhinos, said it was unbelievable to have Gayle on her team. "The amount of attention he will bring to Nepali cricket upon his arrival is certainly going to do wonders to not just my team and the league, but the nation as a whole, especially while we are celebrating Visit Nepal 2020,” said Agarwal. "We are ready for the Gayle Storm!"
"When you are talking Chris Gayle, you are talking beyond cricket," said Aamir Akhtar, the managing director of the Everest Premier League. "Of course he is one of the finest the game has ever seen in terms of power hitting and strong will. I feel that his inclusion will benefit the whole of Nepali cricket."
"Gayle's presence in Nepal will also aid in the promotion of Visit Nepal 2020," said Akhtar who shared plans of taking the Jamaican to accessible tourism hotspots and to have him promote Nepal among his fans who are spread around the planet. "It was after months of negotiations that we have landed Chris, and now it is up to every Nepali, whether they are a cricket fan or not, to utilise his presence to the optimum."
Despite the announcement of Gayle's signing on, the number of matches the 40-year-old will play for the Pokhara side at the Everest Premier League is yet to be determined. The duration of Gayle's stay in Nepal is yet to be fixed, as the Indian Premier League follows the Everest Premier League. A full schedule of India's cricketing spectacle is yet to be declared. Gayle will play for Kings XI Punjab at the IPL this season. “Gayle will play a minimum of three matches for Pokhara Rhinos and will stay in Nepal for around a week,” said Akhtar. “He will reach Nepal on March 12.”
In addition to the Indian Premier League, Gayle has also featured at the Champions League T20, Australia’s Big Bash League, the Bangladesh Premier League, the Carribean Premier League and the Pakistan Super League.