Chennai, April 30 -- It is no secret that the cash-rich Indian T20 league has allowed players to leverage their careers, particularly giving them a significant option in the later part of the international phase.
In 2011, Gayle spoke against the West Indies team and national coach Ottis Gibson. His comments meant he would not play for the West Indies for a year.
But with T20 leagues sprouting around the world, Gayle was not too concerned. The issues have been sorted out but he is a bigger hit in India and the other T20 leagues he plays in than he ever was as a West Indies player.
Mike Hussey may be far more retiring compared to his bubbly Caribbean counterpart, but the Australia middle-order mainstay too has continued to be a huge presence in the league, after abruptly calling time on international duties.
There was a hint of miscommunication with the team management as well as the tireless run-getter later said he had kept his decision a secret as he was worried he might have been dropped.
Half-way through the current edition, Hussey is showing no signs of a dip in motivation as he churns out runs like a machine.
His last innings, an elegant 95, helped Chennai Super Kings beat Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday. It took his tournament tally to 445, only behind leader Gayle's 484.
"The clincher was when I looked ahead to the India and Ashes series and didn't have the buzz about those challenges," Hussey had said in January while announcing his international retirement, despite having scored three centuries in his last two Test series, against South Africa and Sri Lanka.
Hussey continued to play domestic cricket, but in the lead up to the league, he had refused to come out of retirement and strengthen Australia's feeble batting for the Ashes tour.
On current form, Hussey is Australia's best batsman in the league.
"I can't speak more highly of Mike Hussey, the influence he has on the side and the way he conducts himself. I know he is nicknamed Mr Cricket, but what he means to the side is phenomenal," said CSK coach Stephen Fleming.
"He is the heartbeat of the batting unit."
The influence of the league has dominated the club versus country debate in the last few years. And there isn't much doubt who is winning.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.