Chris Gayle is still not done with West Indies cricket
After all the brouhaha surrounding Chris Gayle, what with a specially made jersey with No. 301 inscribed on it, a shake of hands from all the Indian players at the end of his innings, acknowledging the crowd's cheering on his way back to the pavilion with the helmet over the handle of his bat, the left-hander revealed at the end of the game that it wasn't the end of his ODI journey.
In a 10-second clip speaking to Windies Cricket, a smiling Gayle said: "I didn't announce any retirement." When asked if he is still with West Indies cricket, he replied: "Yeah, until further notice," as he put to rest talks of retirement.
The question you've all been asking..has @henrygayle retired from ODI cricket????? #MenInMaroon #ItsOurGame pic.twitter.com/AsMUoD2Dsm
Having earlier stated that he would retire after the 2019 World Cup, Gayle back-tracked on his decision towards the end of the tournament as he expressed his desire to play in the ODI and Test series against India, probably as a farewell series with the last Test scheduled in his home at Kingston, Jamaica. Gayle, however, was not selected in the West Indies squad for the Test series, with signals emanating that the third ODI could probably be his farewell game, which he later revealed was not the case.
Virat Kohli, probably unaware of Gayle's post-match clip, congratulated the left-hander for a great career and called him "one of the nicest human beings around". "I would like to congratulate him for a great, great career playing for West Indies. He's done so much for West Indies cricket and he's an icon all over the world. One of the nicest human beings around. That for me is his biggest quality.
"Everyone knows about his cricket but I think the kind of person he is - so helpful with the youngsters, fun-loving and always smiling, even in the most [high] pressure situations he is always smiling. Chris Gayle the person is the best part of him. The cricket everyone knows. I've been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with him as a friend and get to know him as a person, and he is a gem of a human being. I think he can be really proud of that firstly," the Indian captain said.
If Gayle does continue playing for West Indies, his performance in the third ODI in which he scored a quick-fire 72 off 41 deliveries and put on a 115-run stand off only 10.5 overs with Evin Lewis, serves as proof for the hunger in his belly for more runs. The Indian captain later acknowledged that there's not much a fielding side can do when Gayle is in full flow.
"When Chris and Lewis play like that, you understand why they are rated as two of the most dangerous players in the world, especially in white-ball cricket. We know also in 20-20 cricket when they get going there's hardly anything you can do as a bowler, and as a captain, as a fielding side. We tried everything, we bowled every ball possible but they were just absolutely brutal and that was tremendous batting by both of them," Kohli said.
West Indies have a tour to India where they play against Afghanistan in three T20Is, three ODIs and a Test in November, followed by a three-match T20I and ODI series against India in December.