8 reasons IPL can't do without West Indies cricketers

First Published 10, Apr 2019, 3:34 PM IST
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8 reasons IPL can't do without West Indies cricketers
Highlights

The likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Alzarri Joseph and others have made the best use of the grand IPL stage to make an impact.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the most loved, watched and extravagant domestic T20 league in the world. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been organising the tournament in the most professional and systematic way since 2008, and it would be fair to say that the quality of cricket and entertainment is at par with any international tournament. 

Every year, for almost two months, a big chunk of India’s population gets painted in IPL colors and cricket becomes one of the most important topics of discussion at places from roadside tea stalls to high profile corporate offices. 

A lot of factors have contributed to making the IPL the biggest T20 tournament in the world. One of them has been the contribution of the Caribbean cricketers.  

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Over the years, we have seen many West Indies cricketers come to IPL and impress the cricketing world with their talent and skill. The likes of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Alzarri Joseph and others have made the best use of the grand IPL stage and left a mark.  

Let’s look at how West Indies players have made an impact in the IPL over the years. 

1. Most sixes in the IPL

The Windies boys are usually at the forefront when it comes to sending the ball across the boundary ropes. When you talk of sixes, the first name that comes to the mind is Gayle. The big-hitting Jamaican has smashed 302 sixes in the IPL so far and he is miles ahead of AB de Villiers, who is at the second spot with 197 sixes. Over the years, Gayle has provided unparalleled entertainment to the viewers of IPL, and he is, arguably, the most entertaining cricketer in the history of the tournament. 

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In the list of ‘most sixes in the IPL’, another West Indian, Kieron Pollard of Mumbai Indians, is at the number nine spot. Pollard has smashed 161 sixes in the tournament so far. 

Two other West Indian cricketers — Dwayne Smith (16) and Russell (19) are also on the list with 100 and 90 sixes respectively. 

If we talk about ‘most sixes in an innings’, Gayle features heavily in that list too. During his famous innings of 175 against Pune Warriors at Bangalore in 2013, Gayle smashed 17 sixes, which is an all-time IPL record. Gayle features four times and Russell once in the top-10 of this list. 

2. Highest individual score in IPL

Gayle holds the record for the highest individual score in the IPL. Gayle’s 175* against Pune Warriors in 2013 is also the world record in T20 cricket.

3. Highest batting strike rates 

The swashbuckling Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Russell has the best batting strike rate in IPL history. In 55 matches, he has smashed 1,097 runs at a strike rate of 189.46. Interestingly, Narine, who came to the IPL with the reputation of being a mystery spinner, is second on the list of ‘best batting strike rate in IPL’. 

Narine was one of the main reasons behind KKR's title triumph in 2012. He was surprising pushed up the order and sent out to open the innings by the then KKR captain Gautam Gambhir in 2017. That move changed Narine into a fantastic all-rounder and gave KKR a destructive opener apart from a match-winning spinner.

Narine has scored 662 runs in 102 matches at a strike rate of 170.17. 

Gayle (150.96) and Pollard (146.13) are at number 11 and 13 spots respectively.  

4. Most hundreds in IPL

It’s that man Gayle again, who is sitting right at the top of the ladder. Gayle has scored six hundreds in the IPL and could well score a few more. 

5. Fastest fifties in IPL

KL Rahul (14 balls) holds the record for the fastest 50 in the IPL, but there are three West Indian cricketers in the top 10. Narine (15 balls), Gayle (17 balls) and Pollard (17 balls) are at third, fifth and ninth spots respectively. 

6. Most wickets in IPL

West Indians Dwayne Bravo and Narine are at numbers four and eight respectively in the list of top 10 leading wicket-takers in IPL. Bravo has taken 143 wickets in the tournament and is just 14 wickets behind the all-time leading wicket-taker, Lasith Malinga. 

Narine, who was unplayable for three seasons of IPL, has 113 wickets to his name. 

7. Best bowling figures in IPL

In the ongoing season, the young West Indian speedster Alzarri Joseph broke the long-standing record of Sohail Tanvir. Playing for Mumbai Indians, Joseph delivered one of the most memorable spells in the tournament's history, taking six wickets for just 12 runs in 3.4 overs against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Earlier, this record was held by Pakistan’s Sohail Tanvir, who took six wickets for 14 runs in 2008. 

8. Most four wickets in an innings

Once again, it’s a West Indian cricketer who is at the top of the ladder. Narine has taken four wickets in an innings six times. Malinga, who has taken four wickets in an innings four times in the IPL, is at the number two spot. 

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These numbers tell us how significantly West Indies cricketers have contributed towards the success of the IPL. They figure prominently in the list of almost every ‘all-time record’ of the IPL.

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