Chris Gayle has made himself available for the upcoming ODI series against India, in addition to one of the Tests that will be played as a part of the inaugural World Test Championship. Notably, he had announced in February this year that the 2019 World Cup will be his last ODI assignment.
Asked about his post World Cup plans in Manchester, ahead of the league match against India, Gayle said: “Maybe a Test match against India and then I’ll play, definitely play the ODIs against India. I won’t play the T20s. That’s my plan after World Cup.”
West Indies captain Jason Holder, though, said that he wasn’t aware of Gayle’s decision to unretire but welcomed his the veteran’s extended presence with the team, most of which consists of players seeking motivation. “He (Gayle) didn’t really say anything in the dressing room, “Holder said. “I just found out as well, too. I guess I have to go downstairs and have a serious conversation with him. But, yeah, if he’s dedicated to playing for West Indies any longer then I feel it’s definitely going to benefit us having him around.”
Earlier this year, Gayle sang a different tune, stressing that in 50-overs cricket, the World Cup will “definitely” be the end for him. “I’m looking to draw the line there or should I say cut the string,” he had said, “let the youngsters have some fun and I can sit back in the party stand and watch them have some fun.”
Interestingly, Gayle also spoke about his intent to play in a Test match against India, which could be his swansong from the format. He’s so far featured in over 100 Tests but last played a Test for the West Indies way back in September 2014, against Bangladesh in his hometown Jamaica. A number of factors, including his troubled back, has kept him away from the format as he continues to play in the T20 leagues around the world. Overall in Tests, he tallies over 7000 runs at an average of over 42 in his 103 Tests.