Gayle wants to play another World Cup

Chris Gayle is a master at T20. But he has left his mark in the other two forms of the game too. As Super Boss of world cricket, what role does he see for himself in West Indies cricket?

Chris Gayle says there will be more T20 leagues.   -  K. Murali Kumar

He is the super boss of world cricket. A man known to hit a six at will. He really loves to hit the ball. And hit it hard—into the galleries, and, sometimes into the orbit. When Chris Gayle is on strike, you only bowl and pray. And don’t leave your seat, for fear of missing some explosive action in the middle. Spectators are known to keep their eyes glued to the ball because it constantly soars and lands in the stands, scattering the audience as it scurries to safety.

‘Indian batsmen will come good in CT’

Known for his audacious batsmanship and equally outrageous comments that have attracted the ire of many, Gayle is basically an entertainer. He speaks his mind, just as his bat speaks an aggressive language. “Most people don’t give me the credit I deserve, that’s unfortunate,” he said during an interaction to promote Attitude.Com, a fashion brand for men.

Gayle, the intriguing Jamaican, is a master at T20. But he has left his mark in the other two forms of the game too. As Super Boss of world cricket, what role does he see for himself in West Indies cricket? “That’s a tricky question to be honest with you,” he flashes a rare smile. “We have some youngster playing in the longer format. I wonder if it is worthwhile going back and giving it a try. Do they want you back (in Test cricket) is another question. I will see what suits me. I definitely want to play another World Cup. Is it 2019? I would really love to play another World Cup. That is going to be my push, that’s for sure.”

His answer is typically fiery when asked if there can be another Gayle? “There can be a Gayle but there is only going to be one Chris Gayle. Try and not to emulate Gayle because The Gayle is very unique. You just try to be yourself. They (youngsters) can look at a few things and pick sensible nuances to fit into their perspective. But there is only one Gayle. And there is only one Universe Boss.”

We know him as Gayle the destructor, aggressive, dominating, attacking. Is there a defensive Gayle too, one who respects the bowlers? “I am good at making adjustments as quickly as possible,” he asserts. “I am good at brain-click—switch on, switch off—for different occasions. I always play the two formats very well—Tests and one-dayers. I always make the necessary adjustments with the red ball and the white ball. The experience has helped me in tackling all the three formats. It’s been fantastic to be dominant in all forms of the game. But I know what I have done and what my capabilities are if given a chance to play Test cricket again.”

A champion at T20, he promotes the brand vigorously. Is T20 the future of cricket? He is firm, “It is already the future. It is just the people who are playing hardball who don’t want to accept it but eventually they will in the longer run. It is the future and it is what is keeping cricket alive right now.”

He may give the impression of a smug cricketer, but he deals with failures in a philosophical way. “You learn from them. In my view, we have to accept failures as well. You have to accept that nothing will go as smoothly as you perceive (as in life). After all, it’s a game. You cannot just come to the wicket and score a century or half-century in every single game. You do use it (failure) as a challenge and lift yourself up as well. That’s what I do. I see it as a challenge and try and find different ways and means of countering it. It’s all about preparations. It also is about your mindset.”

The 37-year-old adores his fans. “I use the fans to motivate myself. When I am out there I look to give them something to cheer for. Remember, they spend a lot of money to come and watch the games. I use them as a guide to motivate myself and showcase my cricket for them. It doesn’t always happen, but whenever it does, I look to make a big impact.”

To Gayle, the Indian Premier League (IPL) is special. “IPL is always going to be the biggest T20 league around the world. It is big business for all the franchises around the world. I am sure you will have new leagues. T20 cricket is always going to be on the rise, it is not going to go out of fashion.”

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