Jason Holder backs Chris Gayle to make huge impact

Jason Holder backs Chris Gayle to make huge impact

Chris Gayle also went on to add another feather to his cap by becoming the only cricketer to score 100 sixes.

Jason Holder
West Indies’ captain Jason Holder celebrates. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

West Indies captain Jason Holder views the return of Chris Gayle in a positive light and is backing him to make a big impact in the One-Day International series against England starting this week. Tuesday’s fixture at Old Trafford, the first of a five-match ODI series, is expected to be swashbuckling opening batsman Gayle’s first at this level since the 2015 World Cup — where he made the first double century in the competition’s history, smashing a blistering 215 against Zimbabwe in Canberra.

A stand-off with Cricket West Indies chiefs kept various Carribean stars, including 37-year-old Jamaica left-hander, on the sidelines of the international game for more than two years. But he returned to Twenty20 International action on his home ground of Sabina Park, Kingston, in July.

And he showed that time away from the game did no harm to his game as he scored a blazing 40 off 21 balls as World Twenty20 champions West Indies beat England by 21 runs in the lone Twenty20 of their tour at Chester-le-Street on Saturday. He also went on to add another feather in a cap by becoming the only cricketer to score 100 sixes.

Welcomes Gayle

Holder welcomed his impending return to the ODI format by telling reporters at Old Trafford on Monday saying, “It’s obviously a huge boost. The calibre of player Chris is, you can expect really good things from him. He showed some form in the T20 game and had some good form in our CPL (Caribbean Premier League) competition recently concluded,” the all-rounder added.

“I’m really looking forward to having him back. He seems up for the challenge, he seems upbeat and really happy to be back. I’m looking forward to good things from Chris.”

West Indies will need to win the upcoming series either 5-0 or 4-0 with a tie or a no-result if they are to gain direct entry into the 2019 World Cup in England. A failure to do so would mean West Indies, the 1975 and 1979 World Cup winners, cannot overtake Sri Lanka, currently eighth in the ODI rankings.

Only the top seven sides, apart from hosts England, currently fourth, as of September 30 will qualify directly for the 50-over showpiece event in 2019. Teams that do not gain direct entry will get another shot through a qualifying tournament.