West Indies legend Chris Gayle confirmed he did not announce his retirement after their final T20 World Cup 2021 game on Saturday, denying speculation after he hinted that he was singing off from the sport. Gayle was given a guard of honour along with Dwayne Bravo, who retired from international cricket on Saturday, and the big-hitting star came up with gestures that led to speculation on social media.
After hitting a 9-ball 15 against Australia in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, Gayle raised his bat and acknowledged the support from the crowd. Even as the West Indies innings was going on, Gayle gave away signed gloves to his fans at the crowd. In fact, Gayle picked up a wicket in what will be his final World Cup game as he dismissed Mitchell Marsh before running towards the Australia batter and hugging him.
Gayle clarified that he was just enjoying his final World Cup game and that he wants to bid good bye to international cricket with a farewell game at his hometown of Jamaica.
The legendary T20 star conceded that it was a poor World Cup campaign for the West Indies and his worst-ever but stressed that he is happy with what he has achieved for the senior national team over the years.
“Well, I was just trying to enjoy the last World Cup. It’s a very disappointing World Cup for me, for me personally as well. It’s probably my worst World Cup. But these things do happen. But you know, it’s sad that it came at the backend of my career. But like I said, we still have a lot of great talent coming up in West Indies cricket,” Gayle told the ICC.
“I know we have a legend leaving the game, DJ Bravo. But I was just having some fun, interacting with the crowd, it was going to be the last World Cup game.
“I didn’t announce any retirement but [if] they actually give me one game in Jamaica to go in front of my home crowd, then I can say ‘hey guys, thank you so much. Well, I would love to play one more World Cup. But I don’t think they will allow me. “I’ve been through a lot of struggles,” he added.
“Let’s see. If not, I’ll announce it long time and then I’ll be joining DJ Bravo in the backend and say thanks to each and everyone but I can’t say that as yet.”
Gayle shed light on his health ailments while stressing that the poor World Cup campaign in the UAE makes him feel gutted even if he is not showcasing such emotions. West Indies finished with just 1 win from 5 matches. West Indies also did not make it directly to the Super 12 stage of T20 World Cup 2022 as they join the likes of Bangladesh, Namibia and Scotland in playing the Round 1 next year.
“You mentioned the heart condition but I’ve had a phenomenal career. I want to give thanks to actually being standing here today, aged 42 still going strong. The career has been really great. I’ve had a bit of hiccup here and there. I’ve shed blood, I’ve shed tears in West Indies cricket, you name it, one leg, one hand, I’m still batting for West Indies,” Gayle added.
“It was a pleasure always to represent West Indies, I’m very passionate about West Indies. It really hurts bad when we lose games and we don’t get the result and the fans are more very important to me because I’m an entertainer.
“When I don’t get the chance to entertain them it really hurt me a lot. You might not that see that expression, I might not show those sort of emotions, but I’m gutted inside for the fans, and especially for this World Cup as well.”
Meanwhile, Gayle revealed that his father has been suffering from illness and he would be rushing back to Jamaica to check on him while highlighting what players go through when it comes to handling personal lives and balancing their profession.
“Most people didn’t even know since the first game of the World Cup my dad has been ill, so I have to rush back to Jamaica tonight, see what the doctor have to say about him,” Gayle said. “He’s batting well, he’s 91 years old, but he’s been struggling a bit. I have to go back home.
“Sometimes as a player we play through a lot of things and we don’t really express these things. We’re here to do a job. Those are the behind the scenes, what you have to deal with as a player and then come and perform. But that’s no excuse,” he added.
Source: News 18