'You guys keep mentioning my name, but Hendricks is the guys you should actually be wary of. I am just looking to get off to a good start with him and enjoy the moment.'
“You guys keep mentioning my name, but (Reeza) Hendricks is the guy you should actually be wary of,” says Chris Gayle, ahead of today’s much-anticipated Mzansi Super League showdown between the Cape Town Blitz and the Jozi Stars at Newlands.
That is a compliment of the highest order, especially when it comes from the all-time leading run-scorer in T20 cricket, also known as the “Universe Boss”.
But that is indeed what happens when you light up the MSL T20 with back-to-back centuries like Jozi Stars opener Reeza Hendricks did the past weekend. Hendricks stroked 104 not out against the Durban Heat on Friday before following it up with a career-best 108 not out at St George’s Park against the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants.
“I would love Hendricks to make it three-in-a-row! That would be nice to see!” Gayle said at Newlands yesterday. “I am looking forward to opening the batting with him. With his form, maybe it can actually take a bit of pressure off me.
“You guys keep mentioning my name, but Hendricks is the guys you should actually be wary of. I am just looking to get off to a good start with him and enjoy the moment.”
Ever the globetrotter, Gayle jetted into Cape Town yesterday straight from his last assignment in the UAE for the Kerala Kings in the T10 League. Having been a “gun for hire” for the best part of the last decade, Gayle is accustomed to swapping one dressing room for another on two entirely different continents.
“It is not so easy to be honest with you. Taking a long flight and then jumping onto a cricket field, but there are ways to manage to yourself and get the body up to standard,” the 39-year-old said.
“I have been doing this for years, so I know what I need to get myself ready and take it from there.”
With the stage set for an epic showdown under the shadow of Table Mountain, Cape Town Blitz import Dawid Malan doesn’t want his team caught up in the fan-fare.
Malan, who also played in the T10 League before returning last week already, just wants the Blitz to focus purely on securing the all-important home final.
They virtually need one more victory from their last three matches to ensure all roads lead to Newlands on December 16 for the showpiece match.
“I think momentum is key. We started really well and the team has done really well to keep the momentum going while I was away. To be on top is good, but that means we are being chased by everyone else,” Malan said.