Pavilion Parade by M V Muhsin
October 14th, 2012 by Admin

Gayle is ‘Oppa Gangnam Style!’

You can call it ‘Gayle Gangnam Style’ or ‘Oppa Gayle Gangnam Style’ that Windies dance routine at the T20 World Cup which has had 129,345 hits on U tube at this point of writing, and still counting.

However, U Tube notwithstanding, there is no substitute to seeing it live, as this columnist did with delight and relish at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo last Sunday.

The adoption of the hottest dance sensation of South Korean Rapper PSY’s steamy and rendition of ‘Oppa Gangnam Style’ meaning “Big Brother is Gangnam Style’ lifted the spirits of the capacity crowd of the 35,000 capacity crowd—largely Sri Lankans—even as they left the stadium stunned and dejected as fortunes changed so swiftly.

And what has this dance has got to do with sport and cricket? one may ask. The PSY sensation which has entered the Guinness Book of world records, has over 433 million hits—- nearly 9 million per day—on U Tube and continues to go viral, features, among others, in the video a rap scene at a Tennis court.


And with that sporty flavour it has been adopted by players and cheer leaders at high profile sports events ranging from Soccer, American Football, Baseball, Formula One and even a Presidential political campaign, if politics is regarded as a sport!

And then following suit are such celebrities as Music Diva Britney Spears, the singing heart-throb Justin Bieber and dashing film star Tom Cruise. Even a United Nations agency has signed off on it.

West Indies changed mood
It took a while, though,
for Cricket to wake up!

Cricket, founded on the hallowed traditions of white flannels, a cuppa and biscuits, or and a swig of beer at the Lord’s, is always behind the curve when dash and jazz visits.

But West Indian style of Calypso cricket changed that prim and proper outlook: now with the way the bat was swung, the ball was hurled or spun or, and the way cheer squads jived to musical strains, and erupted.

Limited-over cricket went further and changed even that welcome departure and transformed the game into a much awaited Carnival atmosphere, especially when the Windies and emerging nations such as Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh engaged. It took even more vibrant tones with the 50 Over games, and especially the T20 World Cup.

And leave it to the Windies to inject a new dimension: the rave rap dance routine led by the irrepressible and delightful Chris Gayle.

ESPN’s Crickinfo Editor Sambit Bal decorated him as ‘Propeller in Chief’ and one wondered whether it was because of Gayle’s skyscraping hits over the boundaries into the stands, and on one occasion into the car park, or whether it was a flattering reference to his dancing prowess. But whatever the provocation was, Chris Gayle —-and the West Indies team—deserves the decoration if not the coronation, and the opportunity to let go and celebrate.

Windies had pleasure of celebration

For who can deny the Windies the pleasure of this celebration? Take the T20 Semi Final against the Australians : Marlon Samuels, 2 sixes in his score of 26 ; Dwane Bravo, 3 sixes in his 37; Kieron Pollard 3 sixes in the very final over. And then Gayle’s unforgettable “gale” that pulverized the Australians with 75 runs off 41 ball.

And that included 6 — yes six— sixes to boot!

Here was the Propeller in Chief who had to his credit, per ICC statistics, as many as 8 centuries including 344 boundaries and 306 sixes in all Twenty20 Cricket encounters he has played in so far.

With this blistering trend, it almost seemed as if it was Gayle vs. Sri Lanka in the final last Sunday.

And all eyes were on him as was the astute strategy that Mahela Jayawardene had adopted. As columnist Elmo Rodrigopulle so graphically put in his coverage of the final in our sister paper the Daily News, “as Chris Gayle took strike the Sri Lankan strategy was obvious: crowd the batsman with only a square leg and third man out of the ring and pitch short of a length….Gayle was like a cat on a hot tin roof, playing and missing.

They (Sri Lankan fielders) ambushed him, manacled him and jailed him and trying to break free Ajantha Mendis caught him plumb in front in the fifth ball of his first over”.

It only went to show that the Mythical Chris Gayle was also human! An Indian spectator next to me lamented in frustration: “shoot, I came here to see Gayle bat not to be given out”! But then enter Marlon Samuels. He compensates as it were to win the match for the Windies with six sixes, three fours in his 105 in the last 10 overs!

Gayle led celebration

No wonder then ‘Oppa Gayle Gangnam’ got into action as fireworks crackled and lit the evening sky at the Stadium as Big Bro led the Gangnam routine, with a stump in his hand wearing his # 45 Jersey with # 55 Marlon Samuels and Ravi Rampaul #14 carrying a stump each in their hands, galloping on the imaginary horse, lasso move and all –one and two, up and down, three and four, up and down…giddy up! Oppa….

And Gayle was in his element: with stump in his hand, one could almost hear him singing and paraphrasing the English version of the rap with the rest of the team in chorus:

I’m a guy,
A guy who is warm as you during the day
A guy who one-shots his coffee before it even cools down
A guy whose heart bursts when night comes
That kind of guy
Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam Style
Oppa is Gangnam style
You know what I am saying
Oppa Gayle, yes Oppa Gayle
Is Gangnam style

And as we end this column the number of U Tube hits on the Gayle- West Indies dance reads @ 157,430 and the clock is rolling!

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