Chris Gayle, the hard-hitting Jamaican superstar, has been named in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC’s) T20I Team of the Decade, and is determined to be back in business for the West Indies at a ICC World Cup.
The 41-year-old, the self-titled “Universe Boss” on social media platform Twitter, made the team after being recognised by the ICC for his outstanding performances in the T20I competition since the start of 2011.
These awards are a special edition of the ICC’s annual prizes with Trinidad & Tobago batsman Kieron Pollard also named in the T20I team, although no West Indian players made it into the ICC’s One Day International (ODI) Team nor Test Team of the Decade.
Although the left-handed opener’s no nonsense approach helped him achieve the prestigious honour of becoming the inaugural player to score centuries in all formats of the modern game, he only scored two centuries at T20I level. Yet he hit 25 ODIs hundreds and 15 in Test matches.
In the T20I arena, Gayle has notched an average of 32.54 from 58 matches having scored 1,627 runs. During the 2019 ODI series against India, Gayle played his 300th ODI match and also surpassed Brian Lara’s record to win the accolade of becoming the West Indies’ all-time leading run scorer in ODI with 10,480 runs. He last donned the West Indian maroon jersey in an ODI during the home series against India in August 2019.
And Gayle, a powerhouse performer for the West Indies from 1999 until 2019, has recently revealed that he has no plans to retire as he is fully focused on being selected for the next two editions of the ICC T20 World Cup.
The last T20I Gayle played for the West Indies was in March 2019. Yet he holds the record for the fastest ever ODI double century at the ICC World Cup, having amassed 215 off 147 deliveries against Zimbabwe in Canberra, Australia in 2015.
Despite having often courted controversy, Gayle skippered the Windies to the semi-finals of the 2009 ICC T20 World Cup in England. And during the past decade Gayle was a victorious member with the West Indies that captured the ICC T20 World Cup twice, in Sri Lanka (2012) in India (2016) respectively.
Gayle kicked off his career with Lucas Cricket Club in his home city of Kingston, with their nursery since named in honour of his achievements.
And he set up the Chris Gayle Academy in 2015, with the intent on helping disadvantaged children in both Jamaica and the UK to better themselves and their communities through their involvement in sport.
He recently admitted: “I have no retirement plan of now, as I believe that I still have five more years – and yes two more [ICC] World Cups to go.”
Whether Gayle will feature in this year’s ICC T20 World Cup in India and/or the 2022 edition in Australia remains to be seen.
The reality is his chances look slim as he was overlooked yet again by the selectors when they named their squads for the forthcoming tour to Bangladesh, despite 10 players turning down the opportunity for health and safety reasons because of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
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