Gayle Insists He’s an All-time Great but West Indies Career is Not Done Yet
Chris Gayle has never lacked for confidence – how can you when your nickname is Universe Boss?
So when the West Indies opener was asked where he ranked in the pantheon of the greatest cricketers from the Caribbean, there was no false modesty.
Instead, Gayle took the opportunity to remind everyone of what he has achieved, while revealing that his planned international retirement after the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 will actually be pushed back by at least a few months.
He said: “I'm definitely up there with the greats without a doubt.
“I enjoy each and every moment of playing for West Indies. It’s still not the end. I still have a few games to go. Maybe another series to go who knows we'll see what happens.
“My plans for after the World Cup, maybe a Test match against India and then I'll definitely play the ODIs against India. I won't play the T20s. That's my plan after World Cup.
“In these three (remaining) games, I'd love to get a hundred as well. But if it doesn't happen, I can't actually complain or be too hard on myself.
“I've actually achieved a lot. But what I really wanted was to be in that final four and then anything could have actually happened and then to be able to get my hands on the World Cup. We'll see what happens.”
The Windies’ hopes of lifting the trophy are slim – they will need to win their three remaining games, starting against India at Old Trafford on Thursday, while hoping that other results go their way to reach the semi-finals.
For Gayle, the clash with India gives him the opportunity to face a number of players who he has seen close up in the Indian Premier League in recent seasons.
That includes Jasprit Bumrah, the world’s number one ranked bowler, and Gayle knows their personal battle will be crucial to the outcome of the game.
He added: “In the English conditions the new ball tends to have a say, earlier in the opening batting innings. But once you conquer that, the batting will tend to become a bit easier.
“Bumrah is the number one bowler in the world right now. He's a world-class bowler, producing in all formats.
“Going up against India, it's always going to be a challenge. They've been playing good cricket. I'm actually looking forward to it. And everyone knows India's style of cricket and hopefully we can actually conquer that tomorrow and get the better of them.”
Although Gayle plans to extend his career a little longer, the future of West Indian cricket will fall into others’ hands, and the 39-year-old singled out Nicholas Pooran as one who will carry the team forwards.
He added: “The future is bright for West Indies cricket, without a doubt. Nicholas Pooran is going to be a savage youngster, trust me on that one.
“But Pooran, his work ethic – I must commend Pooran's work ethic. It's fantastic for a youngster to actually just come into the team. And he's going to be a world beater, knock on wood.”
© Cricket World 2019