Chris Gayle keen to carry on playing for West Indies

Chris Gayle keen to carry on playing for West Indies

With the relationship with the Board on the mend, Chris Gayle is looking to play consistently for the West Indies.

Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle. (Photo by Christopher Lee-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

Flamboyant opener Chris Gayle has expressed his desire to continue representing his country. He was recently called back by the selectors to play for the country after a gap of more than a year, when he was included in the lone T20 game against India on July 9. Though he managed to score just 18 on his return, Chris Gayle still can be a handy player at the international level.

Gayle a global star

Gayle has racked up loads of runs across the globe, playing in various franchise-based T20 leagues. The left-hander has had issues with the Board which has prompted him to miss a lot of international cricket in the last 5 years. But things have started to improve between him and the Board which will enable him to play for the nation on a consistent basis. The ‘Universal Boss’ played his first T20 game for the West Indies at his home ground, Sabina Park in Jamaica. The crowd cheered him on and Gayle was thrilled to wear his national jersey again.

“It was a great feeling wearing the maroon in front of the home crowd. I didn’t realise at the time how long I was out,” Gayle said.

Gayle is closer to the end rather than the beginning as far as his cricket career is concerned. He wants to contribute to the team and share the knowledge with youngsters before he signs off from cricket. At 37, Gayle has already set his sights on the 2019 World Cup in England.

“The fans were happy to see me back on the field representing West Indies. Hopefully, things can get better. Hopefully, I can play a few more games. I definitely want to play the 2019 World Cup. Things are beginning to open up a little more now between players and the board. It’s looking good, and we’ve to try and build from this to get the best players out on the field,” he told.

“With our experience, we (seniors) will try and share as much as we can before we go,” Gayle added.

West Indies struggling to qualify directly for WC

Gayle has been the greatest entertainer cricket has ever seen. He has amassed more than 10,000 T20 runs and holds a handful of batting records in the format. His experience can add value to the otherwise inexperienced West Indian side.

The first imminent challenge for the West Indies is to seek direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup. They missed out for the Champions Trophy as they couldn’t make it in the top eight ranked teams and the chances of qualifying directly for the World Cup looks bleak. If they fail to break into the top eight ranked teams before September 30, 2017, the cut-off date for direct qualification, they will have to play an 8-team tournament in which 6 associate teams will participate. Gayle was determined to not miss out on an ICC event this time around.

“(The) 2019 (World Cup) is just around the corner. We don’t want to miss out like what happened at the Champions Trophy. “We will try and push hard and everyone can work collectively to make sure we’re part of the World Cup,” he added.