Kingston Town - According to SuperSport's website, South African top-order batting powerhouse Herschelle Gibbs, the first man in history to hit six sixes in a single over in international cricket, has become the latest player to sign up for this year’s Caribbean Premier league (CPL).
Gibbs achieved the feat in the Caribbean, in St Kitts during the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup, when he dispatched Netherlands legspinner Daan van Bunge over the ropes six times in a row.
And while four other players* - including Barbados and West Indies legend Sir Garfield Sobers – have done it before or since in professional cricket, Gibbs was the first man to hit six sixes on the international stage.
It is part of an hugely impressive cricketing career that the right-hander, now 39, will bring to the CPL table, having represented teams all over the world, including being part of the Deccan Chargers squad that won the Indian Premier League in 2009.
Speaking to the CPL Organisers, Herschelle’s enthusiasm was obvious, “I am really looking forward to playing in the first CPL. I love the Caribbean and have great memories of touring there. The people are lovely and although each nation is different, they all have that same warmth and charm that makes everyone want to go there. Many of the West Indies players have become my friends over the years and playing alongside them in their home countries will really be special.”
Gibbs joins fellow international stars Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist from Australia, New Zealand’s Ross Taylor and Pakistan Twenty20 International (T20I) captain Mohammad Hafeez as confirmed big-name signings for the inaugural franchise-based tournament that will take place across six countries in July and August.
Also confirmed are six West Indies franchise players – Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels.
Despite some speculation in the press the announcement of which players will be playing for which countries, this information is still to be announced by the CPL. So as with the others the country Gibbs will be playing for is not confirmed.
Gibbs’ international career spans 15 years and includes 90 tests, 248 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 23 T20Is.
He has 35 hundreds for his country, 21 of them coming in ODIs – the most by a South African player.
Two of those hundreds came in the Caribbean in the 2001 ODI series against the West Indies, with 104 in Antigua and 107 in Barbados.
Gibbs toured the West Indies three times with the South Africa senior squad, in 2001, 2005 and for the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup when South Africa lost to eventual champions Australia in the semifinal in St Lucia.
He totalled 342 runs in that tournament at an average of 57.00, including four fifties and a highest score of 72 from only 40 deliveries in that record-breaking innings against the Dutch.
Gibbs has played a total of 164 Twenty20 matches around the world, most recently for the Perth Scorchers in Australia and for the Titans in his home country.
Gibbs helped the Australian franchise to successive appearances in the final of the Big Bash League in 2011 and 2012 and also played for the Scorchers in last year’s Champions League Twenty20 tournament in South Africa.
With a career strike-rate of 124.03 runs per hundred balls in the shortest form of the game he is a huge threat to any bowling attack and has one Twenty20 hundred to his credit, an unbeaten 101 from only 53 balls for English county Yorkshire against Northamptonshire in 2010.
Gibbs is also an electric fielder in any position but especially inside the fielding circle with superb agility and a devastating and deadly-accurate throwing arm.
Further details and announcements concerning the CPL, including news of further confirmed players for the tournament, will be made in due course and the player draft will take place on 24 May.
A total of 90 players will be contracted to play in the CPL. Each of the six Franchise teams will be comprised of 15 players. All teams are required to have a minimum number of local players from that their particular franchise country. At least four of them must be under the age of 23, and teams can also field a maximum of four international players. The remainder of the team must consist of regional and/or local players.