An ability to hit the ball a long way, well matched by a penchant for tall scores, earmarked the long-limbed Chris Gayle as a natural successor to Clive Lloyd very early in his career. The tall Jamaican has seldom been out of the news since making his debut back in 1999. Initially, Gayle was a curiosity, for despite his brute strength when at the crease, he seemed vulnerable on the field, often held back by a heart condition that forced him off the field. While his aggression with the bat was often nakedly brutal, a smile was never far from his lips, and Gayle won fans the world over with two epic knocks – 317 against South Africa in 2005 and 333 against Sri Lanka in 2010. However, a protracted stand-off with the West Indies Cricket Board has meant that fans in his home region have been deprived of watching their star player represent them through 2011 and beyond. With neither party willing to back off, Gayle has plied his wares as a gun for hire in Twenty20 leagues around the world, representing Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Matabeland Tuskers, Sydney Thunder, Western Australia and the Barisal Burners. In the IPL, West Indies' loss has been RCB's gain, with Gayle spearheading the Bangalore team's run to the final in 2011.