Former West Indies captain and swashbuckling top-order batsman Chris Gayle will once again be back in the maroon colors of the Caribbean island after a gap of two years when the home side locks horns with Sri Lanka in a T20I series next month.
This will be Gayle’s first international outing since the 2019 home series against India and even though it is still not clear whether he’ll open the batting or bat at the No.3 spot due to West Indies boasting of four opening options in their squad, the ‘Universe Boss’ is confident that no matter where he bats, he’ll still be successful.
Gayle batted at the No.3 spot for his IPL franchise Punjab Kings last year and he went on to enjoy a lot of success in his new role.
“It seems like I’m the No. 3 specialist now (at Punjab Kings during IPL 2020). It was a role that the coach, Anil Kumble, asked me to play. He did mention it before the IPL actually started, which I had no problem with and then eventually, when I actually got the chance, they wanted my experience at No. 3 because Mayank [Agarwal] and KL Rahul were going great guns at the time,” said Chris Gayle during the press conference as quoted by India Today.
“It’s not a problem. I’m good at playing spin, I’m as good at playing fast bowlers as anyone as I’m an opener. But with West Indies cricket, whatever role they want me to play, I’m willing to play that particular role. We haven’t fully discussed it but I’ll get a bit of a heads up and work out what to look forward to in this particular series and down into the World Cup.,” he added.
“If it’s opening, I’m ready, No. 3, No. 5 – I’m pretty much flexible. I will still be the best No. 5 in the world, best No. 3 in the world,” he said.
‘I’m never going to turn down anything pertaining to West Indies cricket’- Chris Gayle on his return to international cricket
Chris Gayle had announced before the 2019 World Cup that the quadrennial event will be his swansong as far as international cricket. But he made a U-turn and proceeded to play in the white-ball series against India that succeeded the World Cup.
The ‘Universe Boss’ said that he had thought about walking away from the game but he could not reject the offer from Cricket West Indies.
“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.’ 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,” said Gayle.
“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 a unity within the group, and then hopefully we can win this T20 trophy, Gayle revealed.
Chris Gayle is a two-time ICC T20 World Cup winner (2012 & 2016) and with the quadrennial event just a few months away, he has already set his eyes on clinching an unprecedented third T20 World Cup medal.
“I want to accomplish, starting off by winning the series, but the bigger picture is actually to get three T20 titles under my belt. That’s actually the goal I’m setting in my head by winning the T20 World Cup. We have quite a few series coming up and we have a lot of cricket leading up to that. We’ll try and take as much as possible out of these series coming up,” said Chris Gayle.
“The World Cup is still a long way off but by the time you quint [blink] it’s World Cup time. So we have to try and keep the energy, keep fit, be ready and show the region what we are capable of with these particular guys.” he signed off.