Eighteen years on from the introduction of T20 cricket, Chris Gayle stands in a league of his own.

The leading run-scorer in the history of the format – by more than 3,000 runs at the time of writing – he has racked up 22 T20 tons, too. That’s 14 more than the next name on the list.

Gayle has established himself as an IPL great in that period, too, and this year marks a decade since arguably his greatest campaign in the tournament.

After 16 matches for Kolkata Knight Riders across two seasons, Gayle went unsold in the auction ahead of the 2011 edition with a base price of $400,000. The tournament then got underway without the West Indies left-hander present and Royal Challengers Bangalore were struggling – the franchise lost three of their first four matches.

Then came Gayle. With Australia quick Dirk Nannes ruled out of the remainder of the tournament with injury, Gayle was roped in as a replacement player and made a stunning impact on debut. Batting against his former IPL employers, Gayle smashed 102 not out off just 55 balls to deliver a nine-wicket win.

The victory began a seven-match winning streak in which Gayle was pivotal. Just two weeks on from his debut, he delivered another century, this time against Kings XI Punjab. He ended that game with bowling figures of 3-21 too.

Gayle then put in three more Man-of-the-Match performances in the league stage, as RCB finished at the top of the table.

Despite RCB losing to Chennai Super Kings in the first qualifying final during the playoffs, Gayle’s stellar run didn’t come to an end: in the next game, against Mumbai Indians, he hit an unbeaten 89 off just 47 balls to take RCB to the final.

It was there that Gayle finally faltered, dismissed for a three-ball duck in the opening over of a chase of 206 – CSK were the ones celebrating that night, having sealed back-to-back IPL titles.

Nontheless, Gayle finished as the Man of the Tournament, topping the run-charts with 608 runs at an average of 67.55 and strike rate of 183.13. He finished with 44 sixes, 21 more than the man in second-place, MS Dhoni.

It remains one of the greatest individual IPL campaigns.