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West Indies v England

‘Could I un-retire?’ – Chris Gayle considers it after record England series

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Chris Gayle has been enjoying a rich run of form in the ODIs against England, having registered scores of 135, 50 and 162 in his three innings so far. So much so that he’s not ruling out the possibility of postponing his retirement.

Before the start of this series, Gayle had declared that he would hang up his boots from ODIs after the 2019 World Cup in England, which gets underway on May 30. “Definitely, in 50-over cricket, the World Cup is the end for me,” he had said. “I’ll let the youngsters have some fun and I can sit back in the party stand and watch them have some fun.”

But since then, the 39-year-old has been tempted into reconsidering the decision. In the fourth ODI, Gayle hammered 162 from 97 balls, featuring 14 sixes and 11 fours to give West Indies a fair chance in their chase of 419 – England had set the target through rapid centuries from Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan.

“I’ve been playing a lot of T20 cricket, so it’s always going to be a difficult coming back into 50 over cricket. But eventually the body gets accustomed to the 50-over format,” he said.

“I just have to work on the body, and then maybe you can see a bit more Chris Gayle. Things change quickly. Hopefully, the body can change in the next couple of months and we can see what happens. What’s the matter with the body? I’m nearly 40. But could I un-retire? We’ll see. We’ll take it slowly.”

Gayle brought up a couple of important landmarks in taking the England attack to the cleaners. He became only the second West Indian after Brian Lara to go past 10,000 ODI runs. He also became only the second player ever to hit at least 300 sixes in ODIs after Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi.

Gayle relished his milestones and enjoyed the match on the whole. He felt things could have been done differently with the ball, but he was happy to note that the young players in the team were disappointed at falling short, as he thinks that will spur them to get better.

“I think this is one of the most entertaining games I’ve ever played in,” he said. “It was a fantastic game of cricket. To get the 10,000-run milestone is a great feeling. I’ve done it in T20 as well. It’s a fantastic achievement from my point of view. Doing it for West Indies as well – that makes it even more superb.

“We didn’t utilise that new ball well. If we had, we would have been chasing 380. I’m sure the team are all disappointed. I can see the expression on their faces. It’s a learning process for the young players. If they do things differently, they could have won. So it’s good to see that body language when you lose. When that situation comes again, I’m sure it will be totally different.”

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