The #ODIGOAT is cricket.com.au's knockout competition to determine the greatest ODI player of all time. We've selected our top 64 ODI players and now we're asking YOU to do the hard work – that is, narrow it down to one. Set up in much the same way as a tennis tournament, each day you'll see head-to-head match-ups, with the winner of those progressing to the next round to square off with their next challenger. From 64, we'll go to 32, to 16, 8, 4 and ultimately our final. So cast your VOTE and decide just who is the greatest ODI player in history!
CHRIS GAYLE (WEST INDIES)
Matches: 269 | Runs: 9,221 | Average: 37.33 | SR: 85.11 | 100s: 22 | HS: 215
Wickets: 163 | Average: 35.20 | SR: 44.3 | Economy: 4.76 | BB: 5-46 | 5w: 1
Why he makes the list: More runs than Viv. More hundreds than Lara. Love him or loathe him, Christopher Henry Gayle is a modern-day batting giant, in every sense of the term. Gayle arrived on the international scene shortly before his 20th birthday, in late 1999, and more than 15 years later he was hitting a double hundred in a World Cup match. Through the intervening years, the left-handed opener developed a reputation as arguably the biggest-hitting batsman on the planet. When in the mood, Gayle is virtually unstoppable; no boundary is too big, and even the good balls tend to be sent soaring into the stands. Be it a preference for the T20 game or the ongoing dispute between Windies players and the WICB, Gayle's presence in the ODI format has been haphazard since the onset of the Indian Premier League, with the Jamaican having played 90 out of a possible 147 matches in that time.
Performance we loved: South Africa were looking to defend a strong total of 258 in the semi-final of the 2006 Champions Trophy in Jaipur. Gayle was having none of it. Shaun Pollock's first two balls of the innings flew back past him to the boundary, and there was no respite thereafter. With a difficult target and a spot in the final on the line, Gayle settled in for the long haul, punching boundaries straight to keep his strike-rate hovering around 100 and all the while making the task at hand look less and less challenging. He was still there at the end, unbeaten on 133 (135), having played one of the finest hands seen in any edition of the tournament.
DESMOND HAYNES (WEST INDIES)
Matches: 238 | Runs: 8,648 | Average: 41.37 | SR: 63.09 | 100s: 17 | HS: 152no
Why he makes the list: When Desmond Haynes called time on his ODI career in March 1994, his 17 hundreds were not only testament to a wonderful career at the top of the order for the West Indies, but also by far and away the most ever scored. For 16 years, Haynes was the batting rock around which the West Indies built much of their success, the Barbadian possessing both a strong temperament and range of strokeplay which he combined to great effect in unison with top-order compatriots Gordon Greenidge and Richie Richardson. The ever-smiling right-hander played an incredible 94 of his ODIs in Australia, averaging 36, but it was in the Caribbean that he was at his best, plundering 10 hundreds in 49 innings and averaging 67.
Performance we loved: Thirty-eight years after achieving the feat, Haynes' 148 on ODI debut remains the highest score by a first-timer in the format. Haynes' maiden international fixture came a week after his 22nd birthday, and on the tiny island of Antigua, he was tasked with handling Aussie tearaway Jeff Thomson. While the Windies slipped to 4-78, Haynes was unperturbed, peeling off 16 fours and a pair of sixes in his 136-ball innings. It won the West Indies the match, and gave Australia an early taste of a man who would torment them for a generation.
#ODIGOAT First Round: Tendulkar v Sharma
#ODIGOAT First Round: Akram v Starc
#ODIGOAT First Round: Garner v Donald
#ODIGOAT First Round: Richards v de Silva
#ODIGOAT First Round: Azharuddin v Miandad
#ODIGOAT First Round: Dev v Vettori
#ODIGOAT First Round: Lloyd v Border
#ODIGOAT First Round: Jones v Clarke
#ODIGOAT First Round: Waqar v Johnson
#ODIGOAT First Round: Warne v Kumble
#ODIGOAT First Round: Hooper v S. Waugh
#ODIGOAT First Round: Imran v Hadlee
#ODIGOAT First Round: Lee v Akhtar
#ODIGOAT First Round: M. Waugh v Jayasuriya
#ODIGOAT First Round: De Villiers v Boucher
#ODIGOAT First Round: Lara v Amla