'I want to play for West Indies' - Chris Gayle remembers the call from the board ahead of international comeback

Chris Gayle has been called-up in the West Indies T20I squad at 41 to play against Sri Lanka.

Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

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For those who thought Chris Gayle’s international career was over, there is a surprise. West Indies named the veteran opener in the T20I squad for the home series against Sri Lanka. The 41-year-old had revealed that the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 was going to be the last assignment for him, but he made a u-turn right after the tournament ended. 

He played the subsequent series against India at home and didn’t feature for the West Indies after that. Gayle was playing in the Pakistan Super League 2021 when he received a call-up for the national team. He has flown to Antigua to participate in the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka. 

In an interaction, the great cricketer revealed that he wanted to walk away from cricket, but people around him gave him the advice to stick around until the time he can. He also revealed that he had initially planned to stick to franchise cricket only. 

I’m never going to turn down anything pertaining to West Indies cricket: Chris Gayle

“I thought about actually walking away from the game and then people said: ‘No, don’t do it, don’t do it. Stay and play as long as possible’,” Chris Gayle was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz ahead of the home series against Sri Lanka. “So I decided I’m actually going to continue playing. I wasn’t actually thinking down this road.

“I was like, I’m going to play franchise cricket, entertaining people as much as possible, and whatever is left to offer within the game from Chris Gayle, I want to exploit around the world.” 

Chris Gayle revealed that when he got the call for coming back and playing for West Indies, he couldn’t stop because that is what his heart wanted to do. With the ICC T20 World Cup later this year, Gayle’s addition to the squad will help the defending champions in many ways. 

“When I got the call and they asked if I’m willing and interested, I said: ‘Yes, I want to play for West Indies’. That’s where my heart is. I’m never going to turn down anything pertaining to West Indies cricket at this particular time. So I came back from Pakistan to be a part of the set-up leading into the World Cup so we can have unity within the group, and then hopefully we can win this T20 trophy,” Gayle said.