"We are delighted to make Chris Gayle a permanent member of our IPL squad. We are confident that with players like him in our side, we will take the extra step this season, and win our maiden IPL title," Sidhartha Mallya, Director, Royal Challengers Sports Pvt Ltd, said.
Gayle was in sublime touch during IPL 2011, turning the fortunes of the Royal Challengers around single-handedly after joining them mid-way in the tournament. He went surprisingly unsold in the auction earlier last year, after franchises were unclear about his availability. However, RCB signed him on when Dirk Nannes was injured.
Since RCB had signed him on, they had the first right to his services ahead of this year's auction, and they ensured that Gayle would stay on with the franchise. The decision to retain Gayle is likely to have made a significant dent in RCB's auction budget, but it was backed by sound cricketing merit, in that Gayle would have likely attracted the highest bidder at the auctions in any case. He scored two centuries, three fifties and picked up 8 wickets - along with being a reliable fielder - in 2011, topping the run-charts in spite of missing half the tournament.
For his part, Gayle too was pleased to stay on at Bangalore. "To me, Bangalore has been a home away from home," Gayle said. "I wanted to continue playing for them, and it turned out that they were keen to retain my services."