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Chris Gayle wants to play till ICC 2019 cricket World Cup

Chris Gayle will make a return to the West Indies squad almost after a year against India for a one-off Twenty20. The burly Jamaican wants to play in at least two more World Cups

india vs west indies 2017 Updated: Jul 08, 2017 19:29 IST
HT Correspondent
Chris Gayle is part of the West Indies squad for the one-off Twenty20 against India on Sunday.
Chris Gayle is part of the West Indies squad for the one-off Twenty20 against India on Sunday.(IDI via Getty Images)

Chris Gayle could not have asked for a better place to make a comeback for the West Indies. The Jamaican will be ‘home’ at Sabina Park and the ‘Universal Boss’ of world cricket wants to make that count.

The 37-year-old is in no hurry to quit international cricket and wants to play “for two more years.” This could see Gayle spending more time in domestic Caribbean tournaments.

READ | India top cricket team, want to entertain Jamaica fans: Chris Gayle

India and the West Indies clash in a one-off Twenty20 here on Sunday. Having won (3-1) the ODI series with consummate ease, Virat Kohli will run into a heavy-duty Caribbean side that includes Twenty20 specialists Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Samuel Badree.

Kohli, Gayle and Badree were teammates at Royal Challengers Bangalore while Narine and Pollard turned out for Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians, respectively in IPL 2017. The familiarity and knowledge in their playing styles will make Sunday’s contest very interesting.

Gayle will be playing for West Indies for the first time since April 2016.

“It’s been a long time … due to circumstances (pay disputes) we have been not in the team. I am back and what’s special about it is that I am actually playing in front of my home crowd,” said Gayle. Several top cricketers are at war with the West Indies Cricket Board over wages.

Gayle promised to entertain his home fans, who missed watching his 27-ball 54 for Jamaica Tallawahs in the final of the 2016 Caribbean Premier League. Tallawahs thrashed Guyana Amazon Warriors by nine wickets in the final played at St Kitts on August 7.

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Saying India were a top T20 team, Gayle wants to take this opportunity to win his place back in a West Indian side that is bereft of big-match experience.

In no mood to retire from international cricket, Gayle said: “If it was left to me I would have walked away, but at the same time fans keep requesting ‘don’t do it’. Youngsters are the future but the team needs experience at this stage.”

Gayle plies his skills as a Twenty20 specialist across the world. Known for his raunchy lifestyle and carefree attitude, Gayle wants to play at least two more World Cups.

“I am targeting another T20 World Cup and another 50-over World Cup for myself. I have to keep my fitness and can compromise and play the national tournaments …most want popular players back in the team,” said Gayle.

Gayle said the defeat against India and the 1-1 result against Afghanistan should not be taken as massive setbacks.

“There is nothing wrong with the team. India were always favourites to beat West Indies. These West Indian guys are the future and will (learn) step by step till we leave,” said Gayle.