West Indies batsman Chris Gayle, who is set to retire from the ODI format after the upcoming World Cup tournament in May, reflected on his journey in the 50-overs format and said that he felt honoured to be able to worn West Indies crest. Speaking after his final home game against West Indies, in which he scored 77 runs in 27 balls to script a 7-wicket win against England, the left-handed batsman said: “This is my last ODI series in the Caribbean.”
He added: “So I was giving the fans a nice wave. Right through the tournament, they have been superb from both sides: West Indies and England sides. It would be nice if it was in Jamaica, but the crowds have been fantastic.”
Gayle was named the man of the 5-match ODI series which ended with a 2-2 draw. The 39-year-old hammered 424 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 134.17 in the series. His half century in 19 balls on Saturday was the quickest ever scored by any Windies batsman in history. In the series, he also hammered 39 sixes in 316 balls, a record in any series or tournament of any lengths.
“It’s been an honour to wear the crest and entertain the people around the Caribbean. West Indies is No. 1. This is the best achievement you can have in the Caribbean as a cricketer. This is the best thing, to be honest with you,” Gayle said after the final ODI.
On being questioned whether he is in the best form of his career, the batsman said: “My better ODI form was in India when Carl Hooper was captain. I made three centuries in that series and I made two here.”
But he added that this is the best he has played in home conditions: “I’m thankful for the form. I wasn’t getting any runs in the T20 tournaments I was playing. When you get a chance to score runs, make sure you score heavy. But it’s the best [I’ve played] in my home conditions and I’m happy and grateful for that.”
Gayle added that he will still hope to hit best bowlers in the world for runs when he turns 60. “But my mindset is that, even when I’m 60, I’ll still think I can do it. I’ll still think I can score runs against the best bowlers in the world. That will never change. It’s just the body which is always the worrying part for me,” he said.