Gaylic: a language that fails to translate

Let’s call it Gaylic, shall we, the language of the modern, supranational, jet-setting Twenty20 cricketer. It is almost universal now, cricket’s version of Esperanto if you like, and it doesn’t matter whether it is IPL, BPL, Big Bash or the original, the now quaintly named Twenty20 Cup, the language is the same- cash is the game- and the building blocks of this new language are taken from its founder, the biggest, baddest Twenty20 cricketer in town, Chris Gayle.

Gaylic was being played out over the loudspeakers with deafening effects during the first Test at Lord’s. Whilst his fellow West Indians were fretting about swing, seam and the slope and other variables that make batting at Lord’s in May such a difficult task, Gayle was freewheeling for the Bangalore Royal Challengers. Every shot he played echoed all the way to Lord’s.

Gayle is known for the power of his shots, but on this occasion, on the first day of the Lord’s Test, it was his timing that was spectacular. Attempting (in vain as it turned out) to push his team into the play-offs at the IPL, Gayle played what must have been one of the great Twenty20 innings: 128 off 62 balls, with 13 sixes sent that were sent towering into the Delhi night sky, before raining down on the spectators in the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium. It was, as Gayle later tweeted in his inimitable style, ‘sweet azz!’………….

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