Jordane Delahaye, GLEANER Writer
Digicel rolled out the proverbial red carpet on Wednesday night to welcome home Jamaica's gifts to the West Indies Twenty20 winning squad - Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels.
The first-class welcoming parade started at the Norman Manley Airport where both Gayle and Samuels were hosted at the Pineapple Lounge by cricket sponsor, Digicel and the Jamaica Cricket Association.
However, the real party came at the end of the day when Digicel hosted a private celebratory shindig for the cricketers, which, amusingly, was hosted at Usain Bolt's Tracks & Records (UBT&R).
Gayle and Samuels were instrumental in the West Indies' triumph and were the only two members from the team selected for the ICC all-star team. The success of both players further bolsters Jamaica's winning streak in the international sports arena.
Digicel invited a few business execs and close friends to welcome and celebrate the West Indies' golden boys. Samuels might have been tired from the hectic day, however, as only Gayle attended the event.
To cue Gayle's arrival, the in-house DJ at UBT&R started playing the viral hit - Gangnam Style, which is recognised by cricket fans as Gayle's victory dance.
When asked about his enthralling celebratory ritual, Gayle commented that it was not planned. Gayle revealed that he had watched the original Gangnam Style music video but was not thinking to do the dance on the field in front of millions of people. However, the video made a bigger impact on Gayle than he thought.
"I got the wicket and without even thinking about it I just started doing the dance," Gayle told The Sunday Gleaner.
After seeing the reaction from the press and fans, Gayle decided to run with it and by the time the West Indies had clinched the Twenty20 World Cup title the entire squad was celebrating, Gangnam Style.
Gayle was busy throughout the night greeting well-wishers and fans, snapping pictures and doing interviews. The former West Indies captain told The Sunday Gleaner he was very grateful and happy for all the support he and his team have been receiving.
Digicel sponsorship executive, Benjamin Simms, said his organisation has always supported Gayle - through the good and the bad - since his tenure as a brand ambassador for the mobile giant.
Sharon Burke, CEO of Solid Agency was in attendance and admitted to The Sunday Gleaner that she was not an ardent cricket fan but was a big fan of Gayle.
"He's the boss!" she said after explaining that she is a part of Gayle's latest philanthropic deed - a fund-raising project for the Lucas Cricket Club.
The Lucas Cricket Club is where Gayle got his start. In honouring the West Indies all-rounder, Lucas is naming its new nursery after Gayle.
Gayle's high school teacher and confidant, Radcliffe Haynes, revealed that Gayle will also be putting on an all-inclusive event on October 27 to raise funds for the club.