Gayle to bid adieu to ODIs after WC 2019

Kingston: Swashbuckling left-handed batsman Chris Gayle has announced that he will retire from one-day international cricket (ODI) after the World Cup slated to be held in England and Wales later this year.

“Yes, I’m looking to draw the line after the World Cup,” he said. “Or should I say cut the string? Definitely, in 50-over cricket, the World Cup is the end for me. I’ll let the youngsters have some fun and I can sit back in the party stand and watch them have some fun,” Gayle was quoted by ESPNCricinfo as saying while speaking to reporters.

Asked whether he was satisfied with his career, the 39-year-old explosive batsman remarked, “You’re looking at a great man. I’m the greatest player in the world. Of course, I’m still the Universe Boss. That will never change. I’ll take that to the grave.”

Gayle said that if West Indies lifted the trophy in this year’s World Cup, it would be a “fairy-tale finish” for him.

“Winning the World Cup would be a fairy-tale finish. The youngsters owe it to me to win. They have to do that for me and try and get me the trophy. I’ll be looking to put my input in as well,” he added.

The World Cup is slated to be held from May 30 to July 14.

Gayle, who made his debut back in 1999, has scored 9,727 ODI runs in 284 matches and is second only to former West Indies captain Brian Lara who amassed 10,405 runs.

In his illustrious career, Gayle has hit 23 ODI centuries. His 215 against Zimbabwe in the 2015 World Cup is the highest score and is one of only six players who have scored a double hundred in the 50-over format.

Gayle who is also a part-time off-spinner has scalped 165 ODI wickets. He is a part of the West Indies squad that will lock horns with England in a five-match ODI series beginning from February 20 in Barbados.

Although, the 39-year-old left-hander represented the Caribbean in 103 Test matches, he has focused more on limited-over games, especially in domestic and international Twenty20 tournaments in the last few years.

Making himself available for T20s, Gayle said that he is interested in playing in the inaugural ‘100-ball’ competition in 2020 initiated by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

“I guess England should invite me over. Then I’ll explode the tournament and say ‘thank you guys; bring in a youngster now.’ I’ll set the trend like I did in all tournaments around the world,” he added.