West Indies great Chris Gayle has made his intentions clear and stated that he is targeting to win his third T20 World Cup title this year in India. He also added that he doesn't have any hesitations in playing for West Indies, and agreed to feature for them when he was asked by the board.
Chris Gayle, who last featured in the home series against India in 2019, made a return to the West Indies T20I side for the Sri Lanka series. The 41-year-old was named in the 14-man squad for the three-match T20I series that commences from March 3 at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua. The hard-hitting opener was playing in the ongoing PSL when he was asked to join the team, which he duly did.
The 2019 World Cup was supposed to be his last international assignment but then he featured in the home series against India. In the aftermath of the World Cup, he had announced that the India series will be his last hurrah at the highest level. He didn't feature for a long time for West Indies post-2019 but now the long hiatus has come to an end. Ahead of the Sri Lanka series, Chris Gayle asserted that he wants to get three T20 World Cup titles under his belt and wants to win the upcoming ICC mega event in India.
"I want to accomplish, starting off by winning the series, but the bigger picture is actually to get three T20 titles under my belt. That's actually the goal I'm setting in my head by winning the T20 World Cup. We have quite a few series coming up and we have a lot of cricket leading up to that. We'll try and take as much as possible out of these series coming up," Gayle said, reported Cricbuzz.
The Windies southpaw also revealed that he wanted to walk away from the game but he didn't do so as people still wanted him to play the game.
"I thought about actually walking away from the game and then people said: 'No, don't do it, don't do it. Stay and play as long as possible. So I decided I'm actually going to continue playing. I wasn't actually thinking down this road. I was like, I'm going to play franchise cricket, entertaining people as much as possible, and whatever is left to offer within the game from Chris Gayle, I want to exploit around the world."
The 41-year-old also revealed that right now, he doesn't want to turn down anything related to the West Indies cricket and that's why he had no hesitations in agreeing to play this series. He also added that it's all mental and at this age, and he just wants to have fun as far as batting goes.
"When I got the call and they asked if I'm willing and interested, I said: 'Yes, I want to play for West Indies'. That's where my heart is. I'm never going to turn down anything pertaining to West Indies cricket at this particular time. So I came back from Pakistan to be a part of the set-up leading into the World Cup so we can have a unity within the group, and then hopefully we can win this T20 trophy.
Gayle was seen batting at no.3 for Kings XI Punjab in the 2020 IPL. He stated that the franchise wanted someone experienced to bat at 3 and he had no issues in batting at the position since he can play well against both pace and spin likewise.
"It seems like I'm the No. 3 specialist now. It was a role that the coach, Anil Kumble, asked me to play. He did mention it before the IPL actually started, which I had no problem with and then eventually, when I actually got the chance, they wanted my experience at No. 3 because Mayank [Agarwal] and KL Rahul were going great guns at the time.
"It's not a problem. I'm good at playing spin, I'm as good at playing fast bowlers as anyone as I'm an opener. But with West Indies cricket, whatever role they want me to play, I'm willing to play that particular role. We haven't fully discussed it but I'll get a bit of a heads up and work out what to look forward to in this particular series and down into the World Cup.
"If it's opening, I'm ready, No. 3, No. 5 - I'm pretty much flexible. I will still be the best No. 5 in the world, best No. 3 in the world."