Gibbs’s dice with Gayle

2012-01-09 12:12

Rob Houwing, Sport24 chief writer

Cape Town - South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs and Chris Gayle of West Indies are engaged in a neck-and-neck duel to be the best batting “hired gun” in the Australian Big Bash Twenty20 league.

The top runs-scorer in the competition thus far - the eight-team event culminates with the final on January 28 - is domestic player Travis Birt of the Hobart Hurricanes, with 258 at an average of 51.60 and strike rate of 170.

But he has played one match more (six) than the famously swashbuckling men in second and third spots respectively, overseas guests Gayle (Sydney Thunder) and Gibbs (Perth Scorchers).

These two are separated by only one run after five appearances each - the left-handed Jamaican, presently out of favour with West Indies officialdom, has 232 runs at 58.00 and a strike rate of 153.

Gibbs is hot on his tail with 231 runs at 46.20 and a strike rate of almost 152.

The Capetonian was finally deemed surplus to Proteas requirements in May 2010 and is, in fairness, only a month or so short of his 38th birthday anyway.

But if an increasing lack of consistency was primarily responsible for his international exit after a lengthy career in all three codes, the irony is that for the Scorchers he has produced beefy scores regularly - his last four knocks, from the most recent, have been 65, 69, 38 and 57.

He has been a major factor in the West Australian outfit lying a handy second on the table, with two round-robin matches to go before the semi-finals and final.

Gayle has a more realistic chance of playing international cricket again, if he can settle his dispute with the West Indies hierarchy, as he is 32.

Meanwhile off-spinning all-rounder Johan Botha returns to our shores for the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka, starting at Paarl on Wednesday, in pretty good form after four matches for the Adelaide Strikers, currently lying fourth and in semis contention.

He has taken five wickets at an average of 19.80 and tidy economy rate of 6.90, whilst averaging 37.50 with the willow.

With the ODI series ending on January 22 at the Wanderers, he would presumably be available to fly back Down Under should his services be required for the Big Bash final six days later.


  • Peter - 2012-01-09 13:07


      Stephen - 2012-01-09 13:14

      No Gibbs should concentrate on stopping people using caps so much

      Heiku - 2012-01-09 13:26


      alanaR.rodriguez - 2012-01-09 15:48

      GIBS can STAY OVER THERE!! We need EXAMPLES in our SA Teams which our kids could look up to...!! Not dope smoking clowns with gambling and anger issues... amongst other...

      Bradley - 2012-01-09 16:36

      and your avatar is a real example to young people Alana!

      Lauren - 2012-01-09 21:20

      Ag toe nou. We're ok here, thanks. Chill chick.

      david.s.lewisohn - 2012-01-09 21:45

      There's no egg on the selectors faces. Gibbs was an inconsistent player most of the time for the Proteas, not Test standard in my opinion and a poor team influence. He had a drinking problem too. A rare talent no doubt and a quick eye, he is well suited to what he's doing in Australia, but thats all.

      Sagren - 2012-01-10 00:09

      gibbs is the charlie sheen of cricket.....the more trouble he gets in the more we love him,as long as we keep seeing or hearing about him,we are matter what he has done,the proteas side will be sorely missing him as an opener ,there were questions (fueled by selectors,media and pressure from upcoming talent) around gibbs consistency which added to him exiting the national team -though it should be noted that graeme smith has not been consistent for quite a while in any form of the game and the only reason he has survived is because of his 'captaincy' title. but i go with gibbs regarding the powerhold and influence the man may have had over then selectors as its apparently easy to forget the countless knocks gibbs put in to save south africa from embarrasment. Age isnt an issue if u consider tendulkar and dravid are 38,ponting 37,kallis 36,boucher 35,along with a few others still playing at their peak but not to say any are more active,fit and effective as gibbs currently 37. Gibbs is Irreplacable and talented and controversial as any true artist is,so then again,alot like charlie sheen, ,we may have to accept that gibb's illustrious international run is over and just be content with whichever clown they chose to 'fill' the gap

      J.D. - 2012-01-10 13:24

      @alana : Do you think 11 "examples" will bring cups to the cabinet??

  • Kevin - 2012-01-09 13:13

    Gibbs is a legend...

      CapeChappy - 2012-01-09 14:12

      Agreed, I'd rather watch Gibbs get 20 than nearly any other batsman get a 50. One of the most entertaining batsman to have played the game. Such a pity he never had the discipline to go with his huge talent, could have been one of the all time greats I reckon.

      Lauren - 2012-01-09 21:21

      Absolutely. Awesome cricketer.

      hannesenbrianda - 2012-01-10 02:43

      Watch Gibbsy playing on the WACA last week. Absolute pleasure - although he is technically far from perfect, there are few batsman that are naturally so aggressive with such a good eye. He must be among the greatest entertainers in cricket with that ability to attract crowds just like Greame Pollock used to do. he has a carefree attitude to life and that is reflected in his batting.

      Kevin - 2012-01-10 08:45

      Gibbs was one of the most talented players ever to play for SA but he didn't respect his talent and wasted it on dope and drink. Notwithstanding he has a very good record. It was all rather sad.

  • stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-01-09 13:31

    Kallis is 36 and planning to play in the World Cup in 2015. He will be 39. Gibbs will soon be 38. Both guys are very fit, and you don't perform the way thay do if you're not. So well done Gibbs, go for it, and show the SA Cricket Council the finger!

  • Brent - 2012-01-09 13:32

    Hershell is just showing what happens when a team supports him. Shame on the Proteas for not adding him to the team. Guess he must be making Smith nervous and showing Kallis what a real 'alles' is. He is far from over the hill. 39 and one of the most dangerous batsmen in the world.

      Deon - 2012-01-09 13:55

      He is a great player but lack of discipline and drinking cost him his place.

      hannesenbrianda - 2012-01-10 02:46

      If the Aussies drops all their drinkers there would not have been many players to choose from. Shane Warne comes to mind as one fo these "uncontrollable" players as it is this unwillingness to conform that makes players like him and Gibbs special.

      goldwright - 2012-01-10 12:04

      @hannes, - True, but you knew when Shane Warne was bowling, he would always get wickets and he wasn't a total mug with the bat either. It will take some time yet, for Warnes records to be equalled. As good as Gibbs was when he playing for the national side especially in his peak, and as exciting as he was to watch when he was hitting the big ones, I was often thinking, "don't get out too soon......", which he did, falling to maybe one too many a soft dismissal. Yes, that 438 game was the stuff of legends, and he played brilliantly in that game, but cricket is not all about one game. Cricket is not only about being as flashy as you can, hitting as many big shots as you can, it's also about showing discipline & sticking it out for the long haul, which Gibbs didn't do in SA, how long were the Proteas supposed to carry on supporting him? I'm not saying being flashy is bad, but there has to be a balance. Playing in the 20/20 format, overseas, away from the pressures of playing for your National side, can't really be compared. Playing for any National side can't be easy, and at the end of the day, you've got to have the discipline, and make sure you don't upset the powers that be, - which let's face it, is what Gibbs was guilty of.

  • andy4real - 2012-01-09 13:51

    Gibbs is still one of the Best batsmen in the world.....Maybe even better then some of the current Proteas batsmen,,,,,,He does things in style......6 for 6 balls....the stuff of legends

  • Topsy - 2012-01-09 14:25

    pick him for the world t-20 in september

      david.s.lewisohn - 2012-01-09 21:47


  • Randomhero6661 - 2012-01-09 14:27

    All i say is the 438 game... Herschelle Gibbs goodluck sir.

  • Thopa - 2012-01-09 15:42

    Greame Smith Dice with Mark Waugh Mark Boucher Dice with Ian Healy..

  • Daluxolo N Shongwe - 2012-01-10 02:26

    By far my all time favorite batsman so far, it was unfortunate he got dropped but I reckon a bit of patience and a better support system would have gone a long way in keeping him going as a Protea. No one lit up our games as best as Herschelle did. Show those Ausi's what you can do man

      goldwright - 2012-01-10 11:34

      @Margie. Remember Andrew Symonds? He was similar to Gibbs in that he partied too much etc and his lack of discipline was certainly questionable, much like Gibbs. Although Gibbs was/is a far better player than Symonds, especially when you compare their stats, Symonds still had a lot of potential, but Australia had to drop him in the end, because of his lack of discipline. Teams can only hang on to talented but troubled players for so long.

  • goldwright - 2012-01-10 11:18

    Maybe Gibbs was his own worst enemy in SA, re his lack of discipline and being just a bit too controversial - obviously playing for the national side comes with higher pressure/stress levels, and Gibbs just wasn't up to it in the end. Gibbs always did hit those big shots brillliantly but had a tendency to go out too soon, especially in the ODI's. I reckon he could have had a good number more ODI 100's to his name, if he hadn't tried to hit those big shots most, if not all, of the time, which is why the 20/20 format suits him well, - he can be flashy, (and that's what 20/20 cricket is all about) and most of the time he can get away with it, because he does hit the big shots so well. That's what 20/20 cricket is all about, players have more liberty to take risks, and if they are good enough, hit those big shots and get away with those risks. As for the ODI format, Gibbs was very good, no doubt, but he could have been so much better if he'd been just a little more serious about it all. I think he definitly burned his bridges in SA, with his tell all book. Still, no one is perfect, and it's great that, at 38 Gibbs can still hit the big shots.

  • Shaun - 2012-01-10 11:25

    Gibbs is probably the most talented batsman this country ever produced, however he lacked the work ethic to realize his potential. He could have been the biggest name in cricket ever.

  • Zack - 2012-01-10 12:51

    If Gibbs was dropped for inconsistency, where does that leave Smith? Double standards allround.

      Lukas - 2012-01-11 07:58

      o yes!!!! I remember gibbs to be a hero.. Smith I will remember disliking from the start when they made him captian at only age 22. SA could'we,would;we,should'we,but did'int and has;end done well over the last years. Gibbs played whith legends,like Hansie and Klusner. AND THATS WHAT HE IS A LEGEND!!!

  • stiaan.schwartz1 - 2012-01-11 08:41

    gibbs was the best. he produce under pressure. he was oust because of personal vendettas. why are greame still playing if you talk about inconsistency. we must choose players that is in form

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