IMAGE: West Indies batsman Chris Gayle. Photograph: Matt King/Getty Images
Swashbuckling all-rounder Chris Gayle has been named in West Indies’ 14-man squad for the three One-day International series (ODIs) against India.
The series is scheduled to be held on August at the Guyana National Stadium, and on August 11 and 14 at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad. Prior to the ODI series between West Indies and England, Gayle had planned to retire after the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019. However, he changed his mind during the tournament and made himself available for India tour to the Caribbean.
With the 39-year-old’s inclusion in the 14-man squad, Gayle has the opportunity to accomplish two records for the West Indies. The left-hander has 10,338 runs under his belt and needs just 11 to surpass legend Brian Lara (10,348) for the highest run-scorer in ODIs for West Indies.
Gayle also has 10,393 runs and requires just 13 to overtake Lara (10,405) for the most runs by a West Indian in the history of ODIs.
“Chris is a very valuable player and he brings a lot of experience, a lot of knowledge, he lends a lot to any dressing room and it is great to have him in the squad,” Interim West Indies head coach Floyd Reifer said.
John Campbell, Roston Chase, and Keemo Paul have been recalled in the team for the ODI series. Sunil Ambris, Darren Bravo, Shannon Gabriel, and Ashley Nurse have missed out on selection in the team, while the rest of the World Cup squad have been retained.
Reifer said Campbell, Chase, and Paul bring balance in the squad.
“We have a mixture of some experienced and young ODI players. It is good to have Keemo, John, and Roston back, and they will help to bring further balance to the team. Looking ahead to the series, I think we have a lot to build upon following the World Cup. We have retained a large number of players from the World Cup squad, so there is a lot to build on and I am looking forward to the Series,” Reifer said.
Reifer further said the West Indies board are looking to build a solid squad on which they can work with over the next four years for the World Cup 2023. He added that he wants to form a consistent winning team in ODI cricket.
“We have to start planning now for the World Cup in 2023 and we are looking for a solid squad that we can work with over the next four years. We want to build them into a consistent winning team in this format so that they have a real chance of success in 4-years’ time. We had a number of young players in the last World Cup squad,” he said.
“We played some decent cricket. We were in match-winning positions, but we just didn’t win the key moments or finish off the games. The players have learnt a lot from the World Cup, and we are looking to improve their skills, their mindsets and playing together as a team. The more they can play together, the better it will be for them,” Reifer added.
Squad: Jason Holder (c), Chris Gayle, John Campbell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Roston Chase, Fabian Allen, Carlos Brathwaite, Keemo Paul, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Kemar Roach.