The prodigal son is all set to return and wear the maroon cap again. Thankfully for cricket in the Caribbean, Chris Gayle's earlier spat with the West Indies Cricket Board, that saw him benched after the World Cup quarterfinal against Pakistan at Dhaka on March 23, 2011, is now a thing of the past.
Gayle issued a categorical statement in which he made himself available for selection with the West Indies team. He also reneged on his contract with Somerset, a point that was earlier raised by WICB chief executive Ernest Hilaire as the county's matches coincided with the West Indies' upcoming tour of England. Gayle is now available for the three ODIs against England though playing in the Test series is ruled out as he will fulfil his IPL commitment.
Speaking to select media personnel here on Thursday, Gayle discussed his parleys with the WICB, revealed his thoughts on Caribbean cricket and also emphatically ruled out captaincy aspirations.
The ice-breaker: I am not into too much details, but, yes, I have spoken to the selectors and I explained that I am available for all forms of the game. So it is a situation in which I am waiting for the one-day (West Indies) side to be selected.
I have explained to Somerset and told them that I am available for selection with the West Indies team. I had a tele-conference (with the WICB officials/selectors) day before. I told them as for Tests, after the IPL.”
More hard yards left: The West Indies did well against Australia but they should have won the ODI series. They came back in the Twenty20. In the Test format, they had a good first match, scoring over 400 runs but then they lost the series two nil.
There has been some progress, a few youngsters are around still and just a few senior guys there, but there has been no dramatic change. You will see big improvement only when you nail the big teams. Now it is going to be a tough series against England.
Choking on sighting victory: This has happened for years and not just as recently as in (the) Mumbai (Test against India). The bowlers at times do a good job in terms of cleaning up the top-order but the lower order gets stuck in. We need to be consistent.
Captain Gayle?: That is not in my plan (repeats). I would love to get back to the team and whoever is the captain of the team, give him respect and (lend my) full support to the team.
RCB's path in the IPL: I am disappointed that we didn't win (against Kings XI Punjab). It seamed a bit and we needed another 20 runs. The situation is difficult but we are still capable of going all the way. We got to be positive.
Melding aggression with stability: As an individual you want to be the match-winner and help the team cross the line. I play according to the game.
In most of the games, Mayank Agarwal has got runs quickly and has faced most of the balls (initially), so I take that opportunity to play myself in, but I still have the mentality of being the aggressor at the top of the order.
Keywords: Chris Gayle