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Golden form in ODIs forces Chris Gayle to rethink retirement plans

Gayle hit 162 in just 97 balls (11 fours, 14 sixes) against England in the 4th ODI.

Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle of the West Indies. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Chris Gayle’s batting prowess is nothing new to talk about. One of the most accomplished talents that emerged from the Caribbeans to hold the legacy of Viv Richards and Brian Lara high, the southpaw has been more of a sensation in T20 cricket. Be it in franchise cricket across the globe, the Jamaican has been relenting in his hunger for runs. However, the 39-year-old showed that he is yet as good in the 50-overs format during the ongoing series against England and the sensational form has made him rethink the decision to quit after the ICC World Cup scheduled this May-July.

Gayle slammed two big centuries against England

On Wednesday, Gayle took up the responsibility of chasing a mammoth target of 419 against England in the fourth ODI in Grenada all on himself and hit 162 in just 97 balls (11 fours, 14 sixes). It was Gayle’s 25th hundred in the 50-overs format and also took him past 10,000 runs in the same, only as the second Caribbean after the legendary Brian Lara. The Grenada ton came after the 135 he slammed in the first ODI in Barbados. In the second match, too, he hit a 50.

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Although both his centuries went in vain as the Windies lost on both occasions, they made an influence on Gayle on reconsidering his plan in playing ODIs. Earlier this month, the dashing southpaw had announced that he would retire after the WC but now he might think of continuing.

“What’s the matter with the body? I’m nearly 40. But could I un-retire? We’ll see. We’ll take it slowly,” Gayle said. “I’ve been playing a lot of T20 cricket, so it’s always going to be a difficult coming back into 50-over cricket. But eventually, the body gets accustomed to the 50-over format.”

Gayle, who has 44 international hundreds in a career that will complete 20 years this September, conceded that managing his ageing body will be important in extending his career in the demanding format of 50 overs. He said he has to work on his body and then maybe people could see a bit more of Gayle. He said he has been working on his fitness to try keeping pace with the youngsters.

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