Chris Gayle said it was “good to be back” in South Africa, having jetted back to the country and into Jozi Stars’ Mzansi Super League squad after missing the last five matches while he was away playing for Kerala Knights in the T10 League.
Gayle was in Sharjah in October for the Afghanistan Premier League, and had played in Jozi Stars’ Mzansi Super League opener before leaving for the UAE. Yesterday he flew back from the T10 league, to a T20 tournament in another country, South Africa. Gayle admitted that the constant travel does takes its toll and added, hinting at the resolution of his defamation case, that he was hoping for things to get easier for him personally.
“In the future, I’m looking forward to things being a bit more simpler for me, from a personal point of view,” Gayle said. “It’s not so easy, to be honest with you. Especially at this age as well. You jump on a flight, and then you jump on a cricket field. But in a way you manage yourself, and I have a great team that keeps the body ready to perform up to standard and I’ve been doing this for years.
“You make the necessary adjustment as quickly as possible, and take it from there. It’s not a big issue. It’s not a big concern for me at this point in time to be honest.”
Stars had lost the opener, but have since won three out of five games thanks to Reeza Hendricks’ back-to-back centuries, and are currently in third place on the points table. “I think the Jozi Stars are starting to peak at the right time. It’s good to have a win under our belt last night. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, up against the top guns. Hopefully we can continue the winning ways.”
“I’d love Hendricks to make it three in a row,” added Gayle. “That would be nice to see. Two centuries back to back is always good, and coming in in such good form as well. He knows the conditions well. I’m looking forward to opening the batting with him.
“With his form, maybe he can actually take a bit of pressure off me. You guys keep mentioning my name, but it’s Hendricks you should be wary of. I’ll try and get a good start with him. Just enjoy the moment with him as well.”
Stars coach Enoch Nkwe welcomed Gayle back to the squad. “He’s our international marquee player and a very important member of the squad,” said Nkwe. “We’re very happy to have him back. I know the dressing room is very excited. We’re looking forward to having him on the field.”