Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Gayle glad to be back

Published:Tuesday | September 19, 2017 | 12:00 AMJermaine Lannaman
Chris Gayle of the West Indies bats during the NatWest T20 International match between England and the West Indies at Emirates Durham ICG on Saturday in Chester-le-Street, England.

Returning West Indies opener Chris Gayle has said that if feels good to be back in the team as they prepare to take on England at Old Trafford in the first of their five-match one-day international series, starting today.

Gayle, who last represented the regional side in this format of the game at the ICC World Cup in New Zealand two and a half years ago, makes a return following a recent amnesty by Cricket West Indies, which no longer requires players to play in the regional domestic 50-over tournament, the Super50, to be eligible for selection.

The big-hitting Jamaican is one of two players that have benefited from the amnesty, with fellow countryman Marlon Samuels being the other.

"It's good to be back,'' Gayle, who along with Samuels and the in-form Shai Hope and Evin Lewis, is down to lead the West Indies batting unit.

"It's going to be a challenge after two years being out of one-day cricket, but I am looking forward to it.

"I already know what to expect at the international level, so once I am ready mentally, I know anything is possible.''

The 37-year-old, who recently ended the Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 as the third highest runscorer, also expressed hope that his body will be able to withstand the rigours of the 50-over game.

 

'I WILL MANAGE IT'

 

"I would like to see where I am at with the 50-overs game, to see how the body will cope,'' he said. "But I am sure that I will manage it.''

Gayle, who has the most centuries for the West Indies in one-day internationals, and is the second highest runscorer in the regional side in the format, also went on to express hopes his recall can help him achieve one of his career-ending goals.

"The target is Cricket World Cup in England in 2019,'' he said. "However, as you know, that decision will not be entirely up to me.

"I intend to, therefore, work with the cricket board to monitor things in terms of workload and so on and then see what happens.''

Gayle, who is the most capped West Indian in one-day cricket, has scored 999 runs against England in 26 matches at an average of 43.43.

He currently boasts a one-day international average of 37.33 from 269 appearances, including 22 hundreds and 42 fifties.