Port of Spain: He might be a pariah in West Indies cricket right now but explosive batsman Chris Gayle was the toast of the annual Players Association awards, walking away with the `Cricketer of the Year` trophy along with one another honour.
Gayle, who has been shunted out of the team after he accused the West Indies Cricket Board of leaving him in a lurch during recent injury problems, was named the 2010 West Indies Players Association (WIPA) Cricketer of the Year at last night`s eighth annual awards at Queen`s Hall, St Ann`s.
Gayle, who top-scored in the IPL last month with a staggering 608 runs in 12 innings, edged out Shivnarine Chanderpaul, current West Indies captain Darren Sammy and energetic all-rounder Dwayne Bravo for the top award.
The 31-year-old opener has been reduced to a mere spectator in the ongoing tour by the Indian team after being ignored for the lone T20 and the first two ODIs of the series.
Gayle thanked god and his young opening partner in the state side, Adrian Barath.
"I feed off of him a lot and it is a big inspiration for me to see a youngster dominate the bowling at the other end. It inspires me to do well," he said.
Gayle also won the WIPA `Test Match Player of the Year` award, beating Chanderpaul, Sulieman Benn and Kemar Roach.
All-rounder Kieron Pollard was bestowed the `One Day International Player of the Year` trophy. Pollard fend off competition from Gayle, Narsingh Deonarine and Dwayne Bravo in the category.