It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Chris Gayle is as at home at the Wanderers as his is at any other ground in South Africa.
It was at the Bullring back in 2007 where‚ in the inaugural T20 World Cup‚ he scored the format’s first international ton even though he ended up on the losing side.
He’ll be back for one game for the Jozi Stars when they take on the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants on Saturday before jetting out again to deal with the T10 tournament he signed up for before he was drafted for the Mzansi Super League.
Gayle’s participation will be curtailed because of this prior commitment but he’s always had a soft spot for South African T20 cricket.
He said he wants the tournament to make a serious first impression while he does what he does best: entertain.
“I’m an entertainer and I’m looking forward to the entertainment. We have to try to get this league up and running‚” Gayle said.
“It didn’t happen last year but it’s good to have the stars here. Hopefully this is the kick-start for the league to get bigger and better.
“Based on what happened last year‚ I think the organisers would like to put their best foot forward and making sure the tournament gets attention while there’s quality cricket.”
The Jozi Stars also offers Gayle some familiar surrounds in regards with players he shared a dressing room with when he played for the Highveld Lions.
The Stars will be without Kagiso Rabada‚ who’s still currently on tour with the Proteas in Australia.
However‚ Gayle is looking forward to a reunion with some of his former Highveld Lions teammates.
“The last time I played T20 cricket here‚ KG was actually my teammate so it’s good to be back in the same team with him. There are quite a few guys I played with who are in this team so that’s something I’m looking forward to‚” Gayle said.
“I know it’s only one game then I leave but I’m looking forward to being here.”