NEW DELHI: Brian Lara looked worried and was on and on checking the scoreboard to see whether Chris Gayle during his innings of 317 against South Africa in 2005 was getting closer to his record, the latter claims in his autobiography.
"Some players do care about records. When Brian Lara was out for four in that match, he sat in the dressing-room and read a book. Occasionally he would go out onto the balcony and check the scoreboard, then go back inside. (Ramnaresh) Sarwan was watching him, because he was wondering. And every time Brian came out to see my score getting closer to his record, he looked more and more worried," Gayle writes in "Six Machine: I Don't Like Cricket...I Love It".
He goes on to say, "When I came in for lunch and tea he didn't say anything to me. No advice, no 'Keep it going,' no 'Do it for the team.' When I went back out he would go back to that slow shuttle: read inside on his own for a bit, come out to check my score, look worried."
Gayle was out for 317 falling much short of Lara's unimaginable score of 400 not out against England a year earlier. In 2010, Gayle went on to score another triple hundred, 333 against Sri Lanka.
"Six Machine: I Don't Like Cricket...I Love It", co-authored by Tom Fordyce and published by Penguin Random House, is replete with some explosive stories of Gayle including several of his encounters with women.
Gayle says people think he is arrogant and has no attitude towards the game of cricket.
"Maybe they misinterpret things. Maybe it's the way I bat. I play a lot of shots, and sometimes I get out. Maybe they think I don't care. Maybe that's how it looks on television, or through the pages of an old coaching manual. I play my shots and I get out. I get out on 40 so they say I don't care as much as the man who gets out on five.
"Maybe it's the women. Girls love me. I love the girls. I'm a hot boy. Arrogant? Nah. This is how we do it in Jamaica, up front and honest. No pretending or stalling. And with the girls I'm good – serious good," he says.
Or he says it maybe because of jealousy.
"I am the Six Machine. Twice as many T20 sixes as the next man, the highest score, the highest average, the most runs. More international one-day centuries than Brian Lara, more Test matches than Ian Botham, more Test catches than Clive Lloyd. I enjoy every day, and I make people happy."
He says he entertains because I am a cricketer. "As a cricketer my energy comes from being in the middle. If I can't bat, then give me the ball."
On women he says, "You'll always have women out there who'll want to touch you, want to throw themselves at you. That's something you have to handle out there. You get honey traps in cricket too. As part of the game's regulations we have to attend anti-corruption lessons. They let us be aware that there are stings on the prettiest flowers. Not everything good be great, okay?"
He says girls seem to just gravitate to the way he talks and comes across.
"A woman loves a compliment. They love to hear how good they look. I learned that early. Just spill it out. You see some men thinking exactly as men. It's not, 'You want a car, baby?' Simple little things. Think as a woman. Counsel them. Pay attention to them, and you're good to go.
"In my later days, if a girl throws herself at me, I'm not interested. Too easy, no fun. When you're young, anything comes, you go. You have so much energy. It's all new. It's all an adventure. Enjoyment everywhere you look," he writes.
On his obliging to the crowd, he says people watch gladiators because they want to see man against man, but also because they want to be entertained, and one must understand his audience if he is to win their respect.
"All want a performance to lift them from the humdrum day, but performance means different things to different men; fire 30 off 10 balls and on man will love you but another despise you. You have to work out how you're going to win the battles on a particular ground," he writes.
While batting in IPL matches, Gayle says he calculates before an innings. "The crowd might be chanting, 'Six! Six! Six!' I am an entertainer, so I'll give them a six now, and they berserk. You need one run to win. You know they want a six, so you give them one. And they go even more berserk," he writes.