Still committed

Gayle loyal to Windies’ cause but finished with captaincy

Chris Gayle has no interest in captaining the regional cricket team ever again. However, he remains dedicated to West Indies cricket and is looking forward to playing for the regional side for several years to come.

Speaking to Barbados TODAY this morning at the St Matthew’s Primary School where he and West Indies colleague Kirk Edwards were present for a fund-raising venture, the West Indies opening batsman said though he no longer had a desire to lead the regional side in any form of the game, his was an unwavering commitment to the West Indies team in all formats and added he was especially looking forward to representing the West Indies
in Test cricket.

The tall left-hander vouched for the leadership roles of Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy.

“You have Bravo and you have Sammy in that [captaincy] capacity. So those guys you got to look to. Bravo has a bright future, somebody you can look to in all formats, so I’m sure they will look into that and manage it how they feel accordingly,” he said.

The 34-year-old, who captained the squad for just under three years, said there was much still for him to achieve in the longest version of the game. So far in 99 Test matches he has scored 6,933 runs with 15 centuries and 34 fifties at an average of 42.01. He has also made 21 centuries and 45 fifties at an average of 37.52 in 255 One-Day Internationals. He has also captured more than 200 international wickets.

Approaching the milestone of 100 Test matches the Jamaican native, who, along with Shivnarine Chanderpaul, has been one of the main batting successes during West Indies’ international decline, said he was not ready to hang up his boots and was desirous of adding to his record.

For those cynics who doubt his dedication to the regional side, he said his record spoke for itself.

“I don’t know why they doubt [my commitment]. To play for West Indies for 13 years . . . that is a big accomplishment and I am looking forward to going on further to do better things for West Indies and myself. So I don’t know what commitment they will actually be looking to doubt.

“I have been in the West Indies team for such a long time and most people weren’t able to get that milestone of playing cricket and you got to be performing to play for West Indies for so long, so I can’t understand what questions could be asked about my commitment,” he said.

Gayle said when he was finished with the international game he still wanted to be involved in the sport to help nurture future cricketers. It was for this reason, he explained, that he had set up the Chris Gayle Cricket Academy in England a couple months ago.

He revealed that very soon he would be establishing a second academy in Jamaica and had aspirations of establishing more throughout the Caribbean.

Despite concerns in some quarters as to the state of regional pitches and the impact they were having on the quality of cricketers being produced, Gayle said the pitches in the Caribbean were still of a reasonably good standard.

“You got pitches that are reasonably good. You got some pitches that would generally be okay to play the longer version . . . . Lately we have been producing spinners and they are the ones who have been taking the wickets in all forms of the games. So that is a natural factor for us. And we are still producing fast bowlers. The fast bowlers are there and there about,” he said.

Gayle stated he was looking forward to the remaining Twenty20 Internationals at Kensington Oval and improving on his performance from the first game on Sunday. West Indies won that game by 27 runs after making 170 for 3 and restricting England to
143 for 9. Gayle made 43 after a long lay-off with an injury.

“It is nice to look to better your first performance. We have to win. Hopefully, we can set the tone again tomorrow, maintain it, and move on to Thursday’s game,” Gayle said.

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