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Chris Gayle’s big announcement: 2019 to be my last World Cup

Chris Gayle says he has to remain fit for the 2019 cricket World Cup as it will be his last for the West Indies cricket team

cricket Updated: Mar 22, 2018 16:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Chris Gayle,ICC World Cup,2019 World Cup
Chris Gayle (C) says he is happy that West Indies cricket team qualified for the 2019 cricket World Cup.(AFP)

Windies batsman Chris Gayle on Wednesday stated that now that his nation has booked a ticket for the Cricket World Cup next year, he wants to stay fit for the tournament given that it would be his last World Cup.

“I am so happy to have qualified for another World Cup. I just have to stay fit now and we have a young team, but it will be my last World Cup that is for sure, so I am looking forward to it,” he told ICC after Windies beat Scotland by five rains by the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method after rain stopped play with the latter batting on 125/5 in 34.2 overs while chasing 199.

READ | West Indies beat Scotland in rain-marred match to book 2019 ICC World Cup berth

“Mission accomplished, definitely. It has been a long journey and the process we have gone through to qualify, we still have to give thanks even though it was a rain interrupted game today, but a win is a win,” Gayle added.

“It has been a great tournament; the support here in Zimbabwe is always fantastic. It has been quite a while since I have been here, the people have been fantastic. We have come and accomplished what we came for.”

Owing to an inferior ranking, that saw them drop below Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, Windies failed to bag a direct entry for the tournament slated to be held in England and Wales next year. “The fans drive you, people always say Chris we want to see you back in Windies colours, want to see you play Test cricket in the whites again and I say one more time I will do it for you guys,” Gayle added.

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Skipper Jason Holder, too, stated that the side was ecstatic over their victory. “I don’t think it (the qualification) has sunk in yet. We have been through a lot. We were bruised, we have been hurt and we have copped a lot of criticism in the past couple of years. To come into this competition, where there was so much pressure and to produce the cricket we have to qualify for the World Cup is pleasing,” he was quoted as saying by the ICC.

West Indies, champions of the first two editions of the World Cup in 1975 and 1979, have struggled in the past couple of editions. “I have been very anxious, and nervous, it has been the general feeling around the whole team. One thing is that we came together for the whole tournament that was the determining factor, we wanted the same result and we were fighting for the same cause,” he said.

“It is a great achievement to qualify for the Cricket World Cup, I pride myself on leading from the front and all the other guys have backed me up. The people in the West Indies should be really proud of us to qualify for the World Cup. It is the first time we have played in the Cricket World Cup Qualifier. To handle ourselves the way we did was really pleasing, I am sure everyone back home is smiling.”

First Published: Mar 22, 2018 16:13 IST