West Indies left-hander Chris Gayle has backed Steve Smith and Australia players in their ongoing pay dispute with the country’s board. There has been a ray of hope after meetings between Cricket Australia and Australian Cricketers Association but the signing of the new MoU is yet to be done.
In an interaction with CricketNext, Gayle, who plays for Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League, said that he can relate to the situation Australian players are in. Gayle too has been part of pay disputes between West Indies players and the board. The left-hander has urged senior players to not give up under pressure from the CA.
“To be very honest I have not been following or have not spoken to anyone about it. But yes, I am aware of their situation. It is something that I have been involved with myself before. I am standing with the players and hope they stand firm and get what they deserve,” he said.
Gayle was full of praise for his Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli but feels there is a long way to go for the dashing right-hander.
“Well I still see him progressing in his career. A lot more runs to score and he can only get better and better and gain more experience as well. He will be one of the top guys, maybe even target Sachin Tendulkar for the most centuries and get those hundreds (Kohli already has 16 hundreds in Test matches and 28 in ODIs). He is still young, energetic and fit and can get those milestones as well. His mindset is to reach the ultimate milestones of all times,” Gayle revealed.
Gayle, 37 and soon to turn 38, returned to West Indies T20I squad for the match against India and continues to have the desire to represent his country at the 2019 World Cup.
“It is obviously great to be back in national colours. Obviously, I hope to get back into the squad. Our main aim will be to put up a great show and collectively win the 2019 World Cup. Yes, I do look to play as long as possible and till the time my body permits,” he said.
The Indian Premier League squads are set to wear a new look as the players go into the mega auction ahead of the eleventh edition. The dangerous opener said he wanted to be associated with the cash-rich league for as long as possible.
“I have had no such conversations yet, neither do I have any idea what the outcome will be — of the mega auction. We’ve to see what the rules are first. Definitely the plan would be to associate with the IPL for longer time,” he said.