I’d like to begin by thanking all my well wishers and fans for their complimentary words following my knock against Pune the other day. You should know that there’s nothing I enjoy more than entertaining you, and you have my word that I’ll continue looking to do that till the end of my career.
Many of you have asked me if getting 200 was a possibility. I honestly think it was possible. Looking back, given the rate at which I was going, I suppose I could have got there. It of course depended on things falling into place, but all said and done, I’ll gladly settle for 175 not out.
It’s funny in a way, because to tell you the truth, when the rain interrupted play in the second over, I remember sitting in a corner talking to Ravi Rampaul during the break, and I was telling him that that wicket was one serious batting wicket.
In the few balls I had faced before the clouds opened up, I felt really good about how nicely the ball was coming on to the bat and I told Ravi, we needed to get at least 180 runs on that wicket. At that point at least, I never imagined I would come so close to getting that many myself.
I’ve also been asked how I’m able to make it look so easy. Well, there’s just no substitute for the hard yards you’ve got to put in. A bit of a talent is obviously a plus, but there’s a strong reason why they say ‘practice makes perfect’. Also, having played over 10 years of international cricket has helped me accumulate a lot of experience which certainly comes in handy on days like the one on Tuesday.
I’ve realised that as you keep playing, you never stop discovering new things about yourself so it’s really a continuous learning process. One of the key things I learnt very early on is the importance of training my mind to be calm when I’m out in the middle.
Keeping your feet firmly on the ground helps you best assess what is happening around you. It’s certainly not easy to avoid being swept away by a rush of blood which is exactly why it is an art I have consciously worked hard at mastering and it’s helped me a great deal.
Somebody asked me yesterday to reveal what is it that Jamaicans do right to produce world beaters. Plain and simple, we’re hard workers. People only see what you do on the day of a match or an event; what they don’t see is the vast amount of effort that is put in behind the scenes. Trust me, we work our butts off.
Another question I do often get asked is what advice would I give to children who want to grow up to be like Chris Gayle. To that my answer will always be, kids need to become themselves when they grow up. What works for me will not necessarily work for them. You need to know what you want from life and keep climbing that mountain in order to get there; it’s achievable.
Professional Management Group