Watson, Gayle move aside differences for sake of team

Chris Gayle and Shane Watson, who represent Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL this season, have decided to 'move forward' for the sake of their team. As Watson admitted, the two 'have certainly had a few run-ins throughout our international careers'.

Shane Watson celebrates the wicket of Chris Gayle in the IPL last year. The two players represent the same team this season.   -  Vijay Soneji

In February, when Royal Challengers Bangalore signed Shane Watson at the IPL auction for Rs.9.5 crore, the Australian was in the UAE, plying his trade in the Pakistan Super League. He ran into Chris Gayle there, when the Jamaican tweeted a picture of the two, smiling, arms around shoulders. “Who would've thought this would happen?” Gayle asked. “Want to punch him in the belly when taking this, but RCB need him for IPL.”

Watson and Gayle have an acrimonious history. The pair first clashed during a Test match in Perth in 2009, when Watson gave the Jamaican an angry send-off. “He only looks big and strong but he's soft,” Gayle said later.

Earlier this year, Watson spoke out after Gayle's controversial interview with a TV reporter during the Big Bash League. “I know Chris Gayle fairly well so that sort of thing is expected,” he said.

But on Sunday at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here, Watson declared that Gayle and he had resolved their differences. “It's amazing how the world works and how life works,” the Australian said. “Chris Gayle and myself have certainly had a few run-ins throughout our international careers. The day I got picked up by RCB in the auction, I saw Chris during the PSL. That was the day we had to bury the hatchet (laughs), knowing that I was going to be playing with him.

"You're competing on the field...[and then] as soon as things change and you're on the same team, everyone puts everything aside and moves forward. I've always had the utmost respect for him as a player. So it's nice to get to know him personally off the field, and you move forward."