Veteran West Indies batsman Chris Gayle said he is now focussed on playing the 2019 World Cup set to be played in England.
There is absolutely no denying that Gayle is one of the most explosive batsmen in the history of the game. The most decorated T20 player of all time, Gayle has managed to instil fear in the opposition with his brutal hitting. However, he has not managed to enjoy much of a success with his national team.
For quite some time now, his relationship with the West Indies Cricket Board was not amicable. He returned to the ODI team recently but only after a lot of discussion. Moreover, he will be 39 in September this year. The age and his recent ODI form has made many predict that Gayle’s international career is as good as over. However, the hard-hitting batsman is still not ready to throw the towel.
He has now set his sights on the next year’s World Cup.
“Leading up to the 2019 World Cup and play in England, that is the objective to meet,” Gayle told reporters in New Delhi on Friday.
“We are going to have a discussion with the selectors, captain and coach and see how we go about it,” the batsman added.
50-over World Cup is the only ICC global trophy missing from Gayle’s trophy cabinet. The Jamaican has won one Champions Trophy and a couple of World T20Is. However, he is yet to lay hands on the 50-over World Cup despite playing in 4 editions.
Meanwhile, Gayle recently equalled former Pakistan batsman Shahid Afridi’s record of 476 sixes in all formats during his 73-run knock in the third ODI against Bangladesh. He also holds the T20 record of 18 sixes in an innings during a Bangladesh Premier League game last year and says his batting style has changed the limited-overs game.
“I think you want to thank Mr. Gayle for doing that. He is the man who made those things possible,” said Gayle. “Overall everything has changed, Test cricket has changed. It’s more entertaining for people who come to watch the game.”
He also opened up on West Indies’ downfall in recent times. The team from the Caribbeans dominated world cricket in the 1970s and 80s but are now ranked seventh in T20s, ninth in ODI and eighth in Test matches.
“Things won’t just happen overnight. Talent is there but consistency is not there. Players need to go out there and have the self-belief to win series and not just win a one-off game,” he said.
“Get into the habit of winnings series. It’s a long process. We definitely have a bright future with lot of youngsters coming in,” he opined.
Gayle is tipping the likes of Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope to make an impact at the World Cup in England next year.