Sun | Oct 17, 2021

Gayle not an automatic selection at World Cup – Sir Curtly

Published:Thursday | October 7, 2021 | 12:12 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
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With just a few weeks to go before the start of the ICC Men’s Twenty20 (T20) World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, the debate continues regarding the inclusion and subsequent involvement of Chris Gayle in the West Indies set-up.

The regional side will be looking to defend the title they last won in 2016, and the Phil Simmons-coached side has recalled several players that were part of that winning 2016 and 2012 side, which was led by Daren Sammy.

Seven players, including veterans Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Lendl Simmons, captain Kieron Pollard, and Andre Russell are expected to once again be on show. However, while Pollard, Bravo, Simmons, and a fit-again Russell seem sure picks, West Indies fast-bowling legend Sir Curtly Ambrose doesn’t believe that Gayle’s inclusion in the final eleven is guaranteed.

“For me, Gayle is definitely not an automatic choice for starting,” Sir Curtly said on the Mason and Guest radio talk show in Barbados. “When you look at his exploits over the last 18 months, he has struggled not only for the West Indies, but other T20 franchises. The few home series we played, he hasn’t had any scores of significance.”

AVERAGE IN LEAGUE

Gayle has averaged just 18.33 in nine innings in the most recent Caribbean Premier League, and just one half-century of 67 against Australia in his last 16 international T20 innings in July.

Gayle will go down as the greatest T20 batsman of all time with over 14,000 runs under his belt, however, Ambrose made it clear that the he should not have been picked if he did not have the numbers to show from the home series.

“If he gets it going on the day, he can still be destructive, but he hasn’t done much in the last 18 months to convince me that he will set the World Cup alight,” Ambrose said.

But Ambrose still believes that the Windies can retain the title once the team plays consistent cricket throughout the tournament.

“I think we can win the World Cup,” he said. “We have as good a chance as any other team in the tournament. We have enough good-enough players to win, but my concern, though, is that we either blow hot or we blow cold.

“We need to be very consistent for us to win. We can’t have two big games and then two or three bad games. We have to be extremely consistent throughout.”

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