For long, cricket world has anointed Australian legend Sir Don Bradman as the greatest batsman of all time. After his exit from the international scene, several stalwarts have played the game and have achieved greatness. But none came close to Bradman's achievements in Tests.
Sir Vivian Richards, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting and others have been modern day greats and have made their own mark in the game. But now, there is a new claimant to "greatest of all time" title. He is none other than West Indies' opener Chris Gayle.
The Jamaican left-hander, who blasted a world record 18 sixes recently in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2017 final, has declared, "I'm the greatest batsman of all time."
When the 38-year-old was asked by "espncricinfo" whethere he is the Bradman of Twenty20 cricket, he announced himself as "greatest" across all eras.
Gayle blitzed a 69-ball 146 (5x4, 18x6) for Rangpur Riders against Dhaka Dynamites in BPL title decider at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Monday (December 12). The opener broke his own sixes record in Bangladesh.
The tall West Indian has 103 Tests, 273 ODIs and 52 T20Is for West Indies. He is one of the biggest hitters in international cricket. He has enthralled the fans across the globe with his belligerent batting, mostly in the shorter formats. However, to claim himself to the throne of "greatest" may not be agreed upon by many experts.
Earlier, he has called himself as "Universe Boss". Now he has added another title "greatest of all time".
When experts and fans discuss about best batsmen at the moment, Gayle is nowwhere in the list. India's Virat Kohli, Steve Smith of Australia, Englishman Joe Root, AB de Villiers of South Africa find mentions in the best list.
Bradman's astonishingTest average of 99.94 still remains untouched. Tendulkar holds the world record for most international centuries - 100. The Indian batting legend also owns several other marks.
Where does Gayle rank among pantheon of greats when he finishes his career?