Out in the middle the West Indian bowlers were undertaking the standard pre-match rituals – measuring run ups, bowling at one stump, and banging in an unnecessary amount of short balls at invisible batsmen.

Others were going through fielding drills. Others stretching.  Those not picked were at least pretending to look interested.

Doing none of the above though, was Chris Gayle. He did wander out briefly, meandered, casually signed autographs, then strolled back to the shelter of the dressing rooms. The idea of pre-game exertion wasn’t for the self-proclaimed Universe Boss today.

It mattered little his country were moments from a critical World Cup match with Bangladesh at Taunton. It wouldn’t have mattered had it been the final. Gayle is the outrageously gifted maverick, the lavish entertainer, the prolific run scorer. Chris Gayle does, what Chris Gayle wants. And those way beyond his immediate circle of adoring fans have long learnt to accept that.

Whether Gayle’s self-indulgence taints his obvious brilliance sparks debate. He represents much of what is good in modern day professional cricket and yet at the same time, embellishes a lot of what is wrong.

On the one hand he is the superstar the game needs, with feats few others can lay claim too. He remains the only player to hit a test triple-century, one-day double-century and T20 ton. He was the first to 200 in a World Cup game, the first to open up a test match with a first ball six, and his IPL statistics speak for themselves.

His international run count over three formats for the Windies exceeds 13,000. His contributions to their 2004 ICC Trophy and 2016 World Cup T20 wins were pivotal ones.

Indeed, the majority of the supporters in Somerset that day were fanatically supporting Bangladesh, a large chunk of the rest were there to watch Gayle.

‘Come on the boss’ screamed one grown man, complete with sign in hand.

‘Get over there and see if he’ll sign your shirt’ instructed a father to his star struck son.

‘Bowl with your shades on for us Chris’ screamed one women, as if he needed reassurance over his fabled image.

And yet from his pedestal, Gayle is unlikely to ever be dishing out seminars in loyalty, dignity, or selflessness.

Numerous disputes with the West Indies Cricket Board over sponsorship, money, and captaincy have plagued his international legacy. Cracking sixes at various World-wide venues in T20 leagues for vast sums has long over-ridden his desire to help his country, at test match level especially. Those from within will testify the now 39-year-old is very difficult person to live with – the conundrum for the West Indies is they have never been strong enough to live without him.

For some the freelancing, the strutting, the refusal to break sweat in the field or risk an ageing body by running two enhances his appeal.

For purists though, he is a dangerous precedent. A symbol of spiralling cricketing razzmatazz where there is necessity to entertain and vast wages proceed doing so.

Perhaps you can’t blame him. Maybe a man who spent his childhood in Kingston crammed into a single-storey property made of breeze blocks, with cloths as curtains, deserves to enjoy the riches. After all, in 2015 he set up 'The Chris Gayle Academy' to help disadvantaged children in Jamaica and the UK better themselves through sport – and the institution continues to expand and prosper.

The latter fact further perplexes the discussion of how Gayle should be eventually remembered.

But for now any reflection is on hold. He’d originally promised to retire from international one day cricket at the conclusion of this World Cup – and yet a u-turn has now been muted. Bar flashes it’s been a mediocre tournament for Gayle and co and yet one suspects when they finish their campaign against Afghanistan today, the opener will have the ball disappearing to all parts.

Whether it’s against the worst team in the tournament in Headingly or another date of his specific choice, the Universe Boss will be sure to go out looking like exactly that.

And perhaps, here comes the most significant notion of all.

That day in Taunton Gayle scratched around tentatively for a 13 ball duck. He bowled briefly and expensively. His team’s total of 321-8 was overtaken by Bangladesh thanks to Shakib Al Hasan’s sublime unbeaten 124.

It was a momentous game, and Gayle was by no means the story to emerge from it.

And yet as players strolled to their team buses afterwards the majority did so without hindrance, while one man was mobbed by autograph and photo seeking spectators alike.

And then I went away and wrote 840 words on, yes, Christopher Henry Gayle.

Whether he’s a positive or a negative for cricket, hated or loved, idolised or despised - supporters and journalists have needed him in equal measures and the game will miss him when he’s gone.

And boy, does he know it.