Less than two weeks ago, Chris Gayle had announced that he would retire from One-Day International cricket after the 2019 ICC World Cup. But the West Indian’s stellar form since then has compelled him to reconsider his decision.
Gayle scored a 97-ball 162 against England in the fourth ODI in Grenada on Wednesday. West Indies lost the match by 29 runs, but the 39-year-old managed to reach two major personal landmarks.
Gayle is now just the second West Indian, after the legendary Brian Lara, to have scored 10,000 ODI runs. The left-hander also became the second man, after Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, to hit 300 ODI sixes.
On Wednesday, England seemed to have the game in the bag after scoring a mammoth 418/6 in 50 overs. But Gayle’s brutal assault at the top kept the Windies in the contest. A world-record 46 sixes were hit in the match.
“I think this is one of the most entertaining games I’ve ever played in,” Gayle said after the match. “It was a fantastic game of cricket. To get the 10,000-run milestone is a great feeling. I’ve done it in T20 as well. It’s a fantastic achievement from my point of view. Doing it for West Indies as well – that makes it even more superb.
“We didn’t utilise that new ball well. If we had, we would have been chasing 380. I’m sure the team are all disappointed. I can see the expression on their faces. It’s a learning process for the young players. If they do things differently, they could have won. So it’s good to see that body language when you lose. When that situation comes again, I’m sure it will be totally different.”
In the three innings that Gayle has played in the ongoing ODI series against England, he has amassed 347 runs at a strike-rate of 120.06. This has prompted the Jamaican to reconsider his retirement.
“I’ve been playing a lot of T20 cricket, so it’s always going to be a difficult coming back into 50 over cricket. But eventually the body gets accustomed to the 50-over format,” he said.
“I just have to work on the body, and then maybe you can see a bit more Chris Gayle. Things change quickly. Hopefully, the body can change in the next couple of months and we can see what happens. What’s the matter with the body? I’m nearly 40. But could I un-retire? We’ll see. We’ll take it slowly.”