Veteran West Indies batsman Chris Gayle will retire from one-day international cricket after this year’s World Cup in England and Wales, Windies Cricket announced on Sunday.
The 39-year-old opener, who has scored 9,727 runs in 284 ODIs, is set to play his first international match since last July against England on Wednesday.
Gayle last played for West Indies during a home series against Bangladesh last July, and could renew an explosive opening partnership alongside Evin Lewis against England.
Lewis and Gayle both missed the recent ODI series in India and Bangladesh but have been included as part of a 14-man squad that saw left-handed batsman Nicholas Pooran called up for the first time.
West Indies and England will contest five one-dayers following the conclusion of the Test series, which the hosts won 2-1. “As we continue our Cricket World Cup preparations, the upcoming series against the top ranked ODI side is a great opportunity for us to gauge where we are as a team,” said West Indies chairman of selectors Courtney Browne.
“This allows us to identify any areas that need addressing relating to selection and also helps the coaching staff to fine tune their game strategy.”
Gayle holds the West Indian record for most ODI hundreds with 23, and is their second-leading runscorer in the 50-over format with 9,727 runs – trailing only Brian Lara (10,405).
His 215 against Zimbabwe in the 2015 World Cup also represents the highest limited-overs score by a West Indies batsman.
Gayle, who is not a centrally contracted West Indies cricketer, signed off his List A career for Jamaica with a century against Barbados before the Caribbean side toured India in 2018. Gayle skipped that tour to play in Afghanistan Premier League.
“He (Gayle) is definitely going to play the World Cup once his body holds up and he’s fit. We’d welcome him into the team,” Windies ODI captain Jason Holder had said during the India tour. “If you go back to the beginning of the year, Chris made himself available for the World Cup qualifiers. He only did that really because he wants to play the World Cup, he wants to play well for West Indies and he wants to do well.”
Holder had then said that Gayle’s exploits in international cricket has made him a household name in T20 leagues and no one should grudge that.
“When he does that he has plenty of options around the world to make money it says something about the individual, says something about what he wants and I really admire that. He was obviously a pivotal part in us qualifying to the World Cup,” Holder had added.