West Indies star Chris Gayle has expressed his desire of playing one last Test before bowing out of the longest format of the game.
The 37-year-old, who is one of the only four players to have scored two triple-centuries, last played in white flannels in 2014. Since then, he has made few appearances for his national team in the limited-overs format and has mostly played for the T20 franchises across the globe. But the explosive batsman is still harbouring the hopes of donning the white jersey once again before bringing curtains on his illustrious Test career.
“I would love to get a chance to play that final Test match, if that is the case. I would love to get a proper send-off and a farewell. That is my line of thinking as I do want to get on that path back to Test cricket. The idea is to somehow find a way back but let’s see how it goes. For the rest of this year, however, I will keep on playing franchise cricket and if that time to play Test cricket comes my way, then I will be ready and looking forward to it as well,” Gayle told PakPassion.net.
One of the finest exponents of the shortest format of the game, the southpaw is one of the most experienced T20 player across the globe. Having played in almost all the major T20 leagues, Gayle shed some light on the rise of T20 leagues.
“As much as most of the people would like to look away and not recognize the importance of Twenty20 leagues, the fact is that the reality about the public and players’ interest in this format is totally different. For the players, the interest has been growing for a while now and has been accentuated by the advent of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which has completely re-invented this format of cricket. This has obviously opened the eyes of younger cricketers as it benefits them in many ways. This is of course a career route that many other players would like to take as well.”
You have to understand that playing other forms of international cricket can take a toll on your body in the long term, so, if you are a skilled all-rounder, you would want to be maximising benefits and utilising yourself in franchise cricket. Twenty20 leagues give the players more options and it’s up to them to decide how they can fit into this format and utilize their skills,” he added.
One of the prime reasons for Gayle’s limited appearances for his national team in the last few years is his conflict with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). In fact, the conflict is also affecting the whole team as the senior players are not showing any interest to play for the West Indies and are instead playing in the franchise leagues.
When asked how can the WICB improve their less than cordial relationship with the players, he said:
“I honestly have no idea how these relations can ever be improved. The situation has been like this for years. My comments on this issue will be similar to what others have been saying for years, so I will simply be voicing over their views. Just talking about this won’t really solve anything; it’s all about concrete actions to see if they can get this thing right. If they are not serious about solving issues with players, then it’s best for Cricket West Indies to forget about it and let the players get on with their careers without expecting any good outcome. As for the players, they need to suck it up and just do the best in the field as talking about the situation and bad relations will not get them anywhere,” he concluded.