Chris Gayle to retire after series against India in August

The 39-year-old West Indian came for an impromptu press conference and as tongues wagged about a probable retirement announcement, the belligerent opener true to his style, hit those speculations out of the park.

Chris Gayle addresses the media ahead of the World Cup match against India in Manchester.   -  AP

 

The ‘Universe Boss’ isn’t finished yet. Chris Gayle, who had earlier hinted at retiring from international cricket once the World Cup concludes, sprang a surprise, both for the media and his skipper Jason Holder at Old Trafford here on Wednesday.

The 39-year-old West Indian came for an impromptu press conference and as tongues wagged about a probable retirement announcement, the belligerent opener true to his style, hit those speculations out of the park. Some scribes, perhaps contemplating a tribute piece, asked Gayle about his memorable achievements and the rare moments when he lost his rag. He answered those queries with a disarming smile but when specifically probed about his plans beyond the World Cup, he replied: “May be a Test match against India and then I will definitely play the ODIs against India. I won't play the T20s. That's my plan.”

The flummoxed reporters were wondering if he uttered those words in jest. Incidentally India’s tour of the Caribbean islands during August and September, will feature three Twenty20s, three ODIs and two Tests. The second Test would be at Gayle’s bastion, Kingston’s Sabina Park in Jamaica, and may be he wants his farewell there. Yet, doubts lingered, the tea turned cold, conversations went in circles and it was time to check with Holder.

The West Indian captain was queried about Gayle’s retirement-reversal and after conceding that he just heard the news, Holder said: “I was just updated by Phillip (Spooner, West Indies media manager). He didn't really say anything in the dressing room. But it's great for cricket and it's good to have Chris around. He has got a lot to offer and hopefully his body can hold up. I guess I have to go downstairs and have a serious conversation with him (laughs). But, yeah, if he is dedicated to playing for the West Indies it's going to benefit us.”

The man, who made a mockery of boundary ropes, seems to have pushed his finish-line just a wee-bit.