Ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, West Indies will have a new vice-captain in the form of Chris Gayle. Cricket West Indies announced this news in a statement earlier this week bringing much joy to the fans of the ‘Universal Boss.’
The big-hitting opener is in the twilight of his career and has declared that the World Cup 2019 will be his final 50-over tournament after which he will be bidding the format adieu. 39-year-old Gayle is no stranger to the leadership role and has been the captain for the West Indies across formats in as many as 90 matches between 2007 and 2010.
It is apparent that the Windies cricket board has given Gayle this honor in his final ODI tournament as a tribute to his service for the country this past couple of decades. It will now be interesting to see how Gayle handles this new responsibility. Knowing the respect, he commands in the West Indies side and the amount of experience he has, this should be the perfect impetus for Gayle to go that extra mile for his team and help them clinch the trophy for the third time.
“It is always an honor to represent the West Indies in any format, and this World Cup for me is special,” Gayle was quoted as saying in a statement. “As a senior player, it is my responsibility to support the captain and everyone else in the team. This will probably be the biggest World Cup, so there will be great expectations, and I know we will do very well for the people of the West Indies.”
Will Gayle go out with a bang?
Chris Gayle has been one of the greatest entertainers the game has seen. His ability to dominate bowlers so comprehensively and do it with such flair won him countless fans around the world. The World Cup 2019 in England will present the last opportunity for Gayle to exhibit the skills he has been renowned for. Will he go out with a bang?
Gayle is a veteran of 289 ODIs with 10,151 runs under his belt at an average of 38.16 along with 25 hundreds and 51 fifties. Remarkably, his strike-rate remains at a terrific 87.10. What’s more, is that Gayle’s record in England is fantastic – 1016 runs in 28 innings at an average of 39.07 with one hundred and five fifties.
Now that the World Cup in England will be his swansong and that he is the new vice-captain of the team, expect Gayle’s pyrotechnics to set the tournament alight.
Undoubtedly, Chris Gayle has been one of the greats of the game. One hopes that fans get to see the attacking opener at his best one final time at the biggest cricketing event. Because even if the West Indies do not end up winning the World Cup, a Chris Gayle on fire would be a sight to cherish for all. And it would be a perfect end to a spectacular career.