A replacement player last season, explosive West Indian batsman Chris Gayle has now been drafted into the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad for the coming two editions of the Indian Premier League. Gayle joined RCB for the 2011 IPL as a replacement for Australian Dirk Nannes.
He went on to win the the Orange Cap for being the highest scorer in that edition and also played for RCB in the Champions League Twenty20 after being a part of the Kolkata Knight Riders in the first three editions of the IPL.
"We are delighted to make Chris Gayle a permanent member of our IPL squad. He is one of the best batsmen in the world. His form helped us qualify for the final of the 2011 edition of the tournament," Siddhartha Mallya, Director, Royal Challengers Sports Pvt Ltd, said in a statement.
"We are confident that with players like him in our side, we will take the extra step this season, and win our maiden IPL title," he added.
Gayle, among the most sought after Twenty20 players in international cricket, said he is back to be back at his "home away from home".
"I had a great time representing RCB last year. It is a terrific outfit. The players are brilliant. "They are complemented by the support-staff and administrators, all of whom have gone out of their way to make the players comfortable, and give them the freedom to express themselves on the field. To me, Bangalore has been a home away from home," he said.
IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla said Gayle adds a lot of value to the tournament with his explosive batting.
"Chris Gayle is one of those cricketers who was born to excel in all formats of the sport.
He was at his destructive best in IPL 2011, and one can safely assume that we will see a lot more fireworks emanate from his blade, in the forthcoming IPL seasons," Shukla said.