West Indies batter Chris Gayle has clarified that he has not officially announced his retirement from international cricket as he wants to play his farewell game in his hometown Jamaica. Gayle was applauded onto the field by teammates when he went out to open the batting against Australia on Saturday and he had saluted the ground after his dismissal, proceeding to throw gloves into the crowd. Alongside the retiring Dwanye Bravo, he was given a guard of honour on his way off the field at the end of the match.
“I was just having some fun against Australia. Put everything that happened aside. I was just interacting with the fans in the stand and just having some fun seeing as it’s going to be my last World Cup game,” said Gayle on ICC’s post-match Facebook live show.
“I’d love to play one more World Cup. But I don’t think they will allow me. It’s been a phenomenal career. I didn’t announce any retirement but they actually give me one game in Jamaica to go in front of my home crowd, then I can say ‘hey guys, thank you so much.’ Let’s see. If not, I’ll announce it a long time and then I’ll be joining DJ Bravo in the backend and say thanks to each and everyone but I can’t say that as yet,” he added.
A veteran of 79 T20Is, 103 Tests and 301 ODIs, Gayle’s international career has spanned 22 years and three decades.
“I’ve been through a lot of struggle. You mentioned the heart condition but I’ve had a phenomenal career. I want to give thanks to actually be standing here today, aged 42 still going strong. The career has been really great. I’ve had a bit of hiccup here and there. I’ve shed blood, I’ve shed tears in West Indies cricket, you name it, one leg, one hand, I’m still batting for West Indies,” said Gayle.
“It was a pleasure always to represent West Indies, I’m very passionate about West Indies. It really hurts bad when we lose games and we don’t get the result and the fans so much more is very important to me because I’m an entertainer. When I don’t get the chance to entertain them it really hurt me a lot. You might not that see that expression, I might not show those sort of emotions, but I’m gutted inside for the fans, and especially for this World Cup as well,” he added.
Most famous these days for his T20 legacy, Gayle was a force across all three formats. Gayle will likely be his impact on the sport’s newest international format that he is most remembered for.
A two-time winner of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, in 2012 and 2016, Gayle was fittingly the first player to score a century in the format at the international level, doing so in the first-ever T20 World Cup match.
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