Gayle gives thanks for CD
West Indies batting star Chris Gayle is looking forward to taking that big walk tomorrow when national honours and awards are conferred on outstanding Jamaicans who have contributed to nation building.
Gayle, one of the West Indies' most prominent players over the past two decades, is set to receive the Order of Distinction, Commander Class.
He is one of several sports personalities out of 171 recipients who are set to receive an accolade during the annual Ceremony of Investiture and Presentation of National Honours and Awards at King's House.
Honoured and privileged
Others include West Indies Women's captain, batting all-rounder Stafanie Taylor; jockey, George HoSang; track and field coach, Stephen Francis; and administrator, Ian Forbes.
"I am honoured and privileged that I am being recognised in such a way by the Government,'' said Gayle, who, in 2012 and 2016 helped the West Indies secure two ICC Twenty20 World Cup titles.
"It is really, really thrilling, and I accept the honour with both hands and a lot of humility."
The 38-year-old first represented Jamaica in 1998 and the West Indies in 2000 and is a former captain of the team. He is one of the most recognisable players in world cricket.
He is the holder of several world and West Indies batting records, including most runs in the modern Twenty20 format of the game, and the only batsman to have scored two triple centuries for the West Indies.
"I am just thankful for what I have achieved, taking life as it comes, and I will continue trying to strive for greatness,'' said Gayle, who has a batting average of 42.18 and a highest score of 333 in 103 Test matches.
"I also live my life by trying to do the right things, including trying to help who I can when I can, while at the same time, making sure I try to live a happy life," he declared.
Gayle, who hopes to represent the West Indies at the 2019 ICC World Cup, averages 37.42 with a top score of 215 - the fourth highest ever - in 273 one-dayers, while in Twenty20s, where he holds the record highest individual score of 175 not out, he averages 40.50 from 309 matches.
He has also scored 15 Test match centuries as well as 22 in one-day internationals.
"Serving your country for so many years, sometimes you look, and say, 'What do you have to show for representing your country for such a long time?'
"But once you are actually recognised, you have to give credit where credit is due. It's never too late for these things to happen," said Gayle.
"I am just glad it has actually happened, and I am looking forward to receiving it, as well as to keeping the Jamaican flag flying high."