Chris Gayle's ODI career may not be over as the West Indies opener stated he "didn't announce any retirement" after blasting a quickfire half-century in the defeat to India on Wednesday.

Gayle raised his helmet on his bat and shook hands with India players as he left the field in the final match of the series in Port of Spain, where he smashed 72 from only 41 balls.

The 39-year-old was given a standing ovation following what was thought to be his last international innings in the 50-over format.

Yet, in a brief clip posted on the Windies' Twitter account, Gayle later declared: "I didn't announce any retirement". He then added that he would be around "until further notice".

Windies captain Jason Holder confirmed there had been no word on Gayle quitting ODIs.

"To my knowledge, he hasn't retired," said the skipper, whose opposite number Virat Kohli saw the tourists home with a second successive century.

"But today was an example of his career. The knock he played was outstanding. He got us off to a really good start.

"He was entertaining, he showed presence, and that's just what people have come to expect of Chris Gayle over the years."

On Sunday, Gayle broke Brian Lara's record for both ODI appearances and runs in the second match of a series which India won 2-0.

Chris Gayle produced a typically dazzling display of big hitting but for his early fireworks were overshadowed by Virat Kohli, who hit an unbeaten century to help India clinch the ODI series in Port of Spain.

Three days after he overtook Brian Lara to become West Indies' record run-scorer in the format, Gayle flayed India's bowlers for a 41-ball 72, an innings that contained eight fours and five sixes.

His onslaught came to a tame end when he hit Khaleel Ahmed to Kohli at mid off, the left-hander – wearing a shirt with the number 301 on the back to mark his number of appearances - propping his helmet on the top of the handle before holding his bat up to the crowd as he returned to the pavilion.

West Indies finished on 240-7 after rain reduced their innings to 35 overs, with the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method adjusting India's target would be 255, a score they reached with six wickets and 15 balls to spare thanks to Kohli's unbeaten 114.

The touring captain's knock – plus 65 from 41 deliveries from Shreyas Iyer – means India win the three-match series 2-0 after the opener was wiped out by bad weather.

Gayle's innings in potentially his final ODI was the West Indies' key contribution, though opening partner Evin Lewis also made a handy 43 in a stand of 115, while Nicholas Pooran later cleared the ropes three times in a breezy 30 from 16 balls.

West Indies then had India in trouble at 92-3 in the 13th over of their reply, Fabian Allen taking two wickets in three balls as he removed Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant.

Kohli and Iyer led the recovery after the double setback, their 120-run partnership transforming the match as the latter matched Gayle's of five sixes before he was caught by Jason Holder off Kemar Roach.

Kedar Jadhav contributed 19 not out but it was Kohli who finished the West Indies off, hitting back-to-back boundaries off Carlos Brathwaite as he followed up his 120 on Sunday with another impressive ton.

The teams will next face each other in two Tests, the first of which begins on August 22.

Chris Gayle scored a typically brutal half-century in what looked set to be his final ODI appearance for West Indies.

Three days after he overtook Brian Lara to become West Indies' record run-scorer in the format, Gayle flayed India's bowlers for a 41-ball 72 in Port of Spain.

Boundaries accounted for 62 of the runs from the tall left-hander, who hit eight fours and five sixes in a crowd-pleasing innings.

It came to a tame end when he looked to play another big shot against Khaleel Ahmed, who had come in for early punishment.

Rather than find the ropes again, Gayle picked out India captain Virat Kohli at mid off and the catch was safely taken.

Gayle, whose match shirt carried the number 301 to signify his number of ODI appearances, was surrounded by well-wishing Indian fielders after his innings ended.

He chose to play on after West Indies' disappointing Cricket World Cup performance, despite saying in March he had played his final home ODIs.

But the 39-year-old signalled this would be his last ODI series, and if he stays true to that decision it will leave him free to concentrate on a lucrative T20 franchise career.

India's players offered what appeared to be warm words to Gayle, who walked off in a theatrical manner with his bat raised, his maroon batting helmet balanced on its top.

West Indies and India were contesting the final match in their three-game ODI series and, besides the attention on Gayle, there was plenty to play for.

The first was abandoned due to rain, before India won the second match that, like Wednesday's contest, was also played in Port of Spain.

Chris Gayle broke two of Brian Lara's ODI records but a sublime century from Virat Kohli inspired India to a 59-run victory in Port of Spain and a 1-0 series lead over West Indies with one match to play.

Gayle surpassed Lara to become the first West Indian to make 300 appearances in the 50-over format and also moved past the great left-hander's record tally of 10,348 ODI runs at the Queen's Park Oval on Sunday.

The opener fell for only 11 soon after making history and Bhuvneshwar Kumar took 4-31 as Jason Holder's side were bowled out for 210, chasing a revised target of 270 to win from 46 overs after a couple of rain delays – Evin Lewis top scoring with 65.

Kohli (120) was the star of the show, the India captain crafting a 42nd ODI hundred and setting a record of his own for the fewest innings to score 2,000 ODI runs against one nation in his 34th knock against the Windies.

The classy Kohli also moved past Sourav Ganguly into second on the all-time list of India's leading ODI run-makers and held three catches, while Shreyas Iyer scored an excellent 71 in India's 279-7.

Sheldon Cottrell gave the Windies an ideal start by trapping Shikhar Dhawan leg before from the third ball of the match, but Kohli – who won the toss – and Rohit Sharma set a platform with a second-wicket stand of 74.

Kohli was in ominous touch from the start of his latest masterclass, scoring freely on both sides of the wicket, and Iyer provided great support for his skipper after Rohit and Rishabh Pant departed.

India were 101-3 in the 23rd over when Carlos Brathwaite (3-53) bowled Pant, but Kohli and the impressive Iyer frustrated the Windies with a fourth-wicket stand of 125.

Kohli crunched Holder back over his head for six and pointed to his name on his shirt to celebrate yet another hundred before holing out off Brathwaite and Iyer followed after hitting a six and five fours.

Gayle was given a standing ovation and a shake of the hand by Kohli when he surpassed Lara's tally, but Bhuvneshwar sent him on his way soon after leg before.

Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer also failed following a second rain delay, but Lewis dug in for a fluent half-century despite suffering a calf injury before Kohli rose to remove the opener with a sharp one-handed catch at extra cover off Kuldeep Yadav.

Nicholas Pooran played his shots to give the Windies hope, but Bhuvneshwar dismissed him for 42 and took a brilliant catch off his own bowling to get rid of Roston Chase as India secured a comfortable win.

Chris Gayle made just four runs on his 299th ODI appearance for West Indies as the first match of their series with India was abandoned due to rain.

Having elected not to retire after the World Cup as initially planned, Gayle matched Brian Lara's one-day appearance record on Thursday, though he failed to impress with the bat and made just four runs from 31 deliveries.

After a delayed start, the Windies survived unscathed for five overs before the weather closed in once more, halting play.

When the action resumed, the home side looked in good shape as Evin Lewis clicked into gear, hitting two sixes and a pair of fours in the space of seven balls.

But while Lewis - who finished up unbeaten on 40 - was upping the scoring rate, Gayle could not get into his stride. He eventually succumbed to a full delivery from Kuldeep Yadav, edging onto his own stumps.

Shai Hope came in to replace Gayle, though the match would not last much longer, with the rain returning. Following several pitch inspections, the officials called off the game with West Indies having reached 54-1 in 13 overs.

Gayle will have the chance to atone for his disappointing display in the second match of the three-game series on Sunday.

Azhar Mahmood says Mickey Arthur would be a great choice to succeed England head coach Trevor Bayliss.

Arthur is seeking a new challenge after it was announced on Wednesday that he will not stay on as Pakistan head coach.

Bowling coach Mahmood, batting coach Grant Flower and trainer Grant Luden also departed this week after their contracts expired.

The vastly experienced Arthur is reportedly a contender to replace Bayliss when the Ashes series against Australia ends next month.

Mahmood believes Arthur could be a resounding success if he lands the job and the former Pakistan all-rounder - who lives in England - would relish the opportunity to work with the South African again.

He told Omnisport: "Mickey has served South Africa, he's served Australia. He's been around for a while, so why not, I think he would do a great job

"I'd love to work with Mickey, we had a great relationship and if he becomes head coach and I had the opportunity to stay and work in England, you can't ask for anything more than that."

Mahmood added: "Mickey is very passionate, very emotional. He does things with his heart 100 per cent, whatever he does. I had a great time working with him, I learned a lot from him and I think he was the right man for Pakistan.

"Unfortunately, according to the pundits, we didn't produce, but there are issues with the fitness culture of players in Pakistan, there are a lot of unfit players. Our fielding, batting and bowling improved. People have to be given time, you can't produce overnight. 

"Throughout the period they [the Pakistan Cricket Board] never decided on a captain full-time, that was a problem."

Mahmood said he is open to opportunities in international and domestic cricket.

"I'm looking at my options, it's good to have a little bit of a break but I've already had offers, my phone has been ringing a lot and that was also the case while I was doing the job with Pakistan," he said.

"I have a lot to offer, I played one-day cricket and have been involved in the T20 format all over the world. 

"I would love to work in a capacity where I can pass on my huge experience, whether that be in domestic cricket in England so I can spend more time with my family, while also possibly working in tournaments in other countries.

"If an international opportunity comes up, then let's see. I am open to everything right now. People know I am available now so there is a lot of interest, I just need to work out which is best for my future."

Rumesh Ratnayake has been named interim head coach of Sri Lanka, who appear to be ushering Chandika Hathurusingha towards the exit.

Ratnayake will lead the team for the upcoming series against New Zealand.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) stated on Wednesday that Hathurusingha, who has been head coach since December 2017, was consequently removed from his role.

However, it is claimed SLC has not yet agreed a deal to sack Hathurusingha, who would reportedly be due a significant severance package.

SLC president Shammi Silva said: "We have appointed Rumesh Ratnayake as interim coach.

"The decisions made from behind the scenes have been successful, but some of the decisions have not been made public. All these decisions are for the benefit of Sri Lankan cricket.

"When we came to power, there was not much time left before the World Cup. We actually had less than two months left.

"We wanted to work on changing the coach, but we had to use the former coach because of the World Cup."

Hathurusingha told ESPN: "As far as I'm concerned, my contract with SLC is still there. The letter [from SLC] doesn't say anything about termination of contract or anything like that."

West Indies T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite has come to the defence of injured teammate Andre Russell, who he believes has come in for some harsh press after a number of injuries have impacted his international output.

After feeling discomfort during the Global T20 Canada, Andre Russell asked to be excused from duty for the West Indies in the first T20 internationals against India in the Caribbean.

During a pre-match press conference, Brathwaite, made it clear where he stood on the issue.

Brathwaite tackled those who thought Russell did a disservice to the West Indies’ World Cup hopes, saying:

"And speaking for myself as captain of the T20 team and speaking for myself as Andre's friend, whenever we speak about playing for West Indies, that's always his main goal. And we've seen in the World Cup -whether he was 100% or not, it's debatable - but the fact that he wanted to be at the World Cup, wanted to pull on the shirt and wanted to perform for the people in the West Indies and his mates in the dressing room, I think, is testament to the person he is. And I think we need to start commending the fact that he actually tries to get on the park and stop lambasting the fact that he probably doesn't stay on it till the end of the 50 overs or the 20 overs,” said Brathwaite.

According to the skipper, the more important part of the equation, is Russell’s willingness to play for the West Indies.

"I think he's been knocked in the press a bit because of his injury woes. And I think it's easy for us to see him hobbling around the field and just take for granted that he's injured but we can also look at it on the other side and say he can be home, he could be elsewhere and not trying to play for the West Indies.

Russell, Brathwaite revealed, would have played in these T20s if prodded to do so, despite his less-than-100 per cent fitness status.

"Even against my better judgment, I told him to sit out this series, but he really wanted to play, he really wanted to come and show off his skills and show off what he does in franchise cricket for the West Indies. Unfortunately, he took another knock and he doesn't think that if he comes here that he'd be doing justice to other people who could be here and are 100%. Obviously, he's a big loss, not only on the field but off the field. In the dressing room, in and around the team, he's a big character, very jovial and in my eyes, a leader in the dressing room as well,” said Brathwaite.

The skipper then asked that the press look at the bigger picture, because there were other tournaments the West Indies have an eye on doing well at, tournaments Russell will be important to.

“ … Obviously, if we need to get him ready for the Twenty20 World Cup, we have to do without him for a couple of series, I prefer that than pushing him in this series and making a long term injury.”

Joe Root baulked at the suggestion he is under less pressure to deliver an Ashes series win because of his part in England's Cricket World Cup victory.

England and Australia resume their famous rivalry at Edgbaston on Thursday, the first of five Tests in a packed seven-week schedule as the hosts aim to build upon their breathless triumph over New Zealand at Lord's with another memorable success in the longest format.

Root was England's leading runs scorer as Eoin Morgan's men lifted the trophy, comfortably dispatching Australia in the semi-finals en route to glory.

But the 28-year-old is captain once again for Test duties, as he was when Australia took back possession of the urn with a 4-0 win on home soil 18 months ago.

"I think if you speak to anyone that's captained England and is on the verge of an Ashes series… to say that it doesn't mean as much as any other event, I don't think any of them would agree. It's huge," Root, who will step up again to the crucial number three position in England's brittle top order, told a pre-match news conference.

"Cricket in this country is at an all-time high and probably has interest it's not had for a long time. We've got an opportunity as a team to make this summer a very memorable one."

It is a joust limited-overs specialist Morgan will watch from afar.

Root spoke warmly of the Irishman's influence on his leadership of the Test team as he seeks to plot a similarly defining triumph.

"I'm sure he's still celebrating somewhere, to be honest," Root grinned. "He's obviously desperate for us to do well.

"He's been great with me in terms of helping me find my feet as a captain and someone I will always will look up to.

"He's a great man and a great leader. He'll be as supportive as anyone watching on from wherever he is – hopefully with a glass of red somewhere."

Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes return to the England side after sitting out last week's topsy-turvy Test win over Ireland – the duo prescribed rest after showing nerves of steel to guide England towards and through the super-over finale versus New Zealand.

"When you look back at that final and everything that it threw at the group who played in it, those are experiences you can hold with you for ever," Root said, acknowledging the lingering benefit such exploits could have over the coming weeks.

"For people like Jos and Ben, who spent a long period out there under pressure, it must make you think differently and it'll be interesting to see that unfold throughout this series.

"It can only be positive to have two senior players perform for a long period of time under the biggest scrutiny and pressure in the white-ball format.

"They've got a chance now to take that into the red-ball stuff and into this series."

Angelo Mathews guided Sri Lanka to a commanding 122-run win over Bangladesh in Colombo to complete a 3-0 ODI series whitewash.

The experienced all-rounder anchored the hosts' innings masterfully, making 87 out of 294 for eight – a target that always looked likely to be well beyond the tourists on a slowing pitch.

Seamer Kasun Rajitha, playing his first match of the series, staked a convincing claim in the early days of Sri Lanka's post-Lasith Malinga era in the 50-over format by ripping out Bangladesh captain Tamim Iqbal and fellow opener Anamul Haque early in the chase.

Rajitha finished with 2-17 from his five overs, while fellow seamer Dasun Shanaka reduced the middle order to rubble and was the pick of the Sri Lanka attack with 3-27 from six, as Bangladesh were dismissed for 172.

Sri Lanka were made to work for their imposing total after Avishka Fernando was trapped lbw by Shafiul Islam (3-68) in the fifth over.

Captain Dimuth Karunarate and wicketkeeper Kusal Perera steadied matters with 46 and 42 respectively but each fell caught at the wicket in quick succession.

That brought Mathews together with fellow half-centurion Kusal Mendis, who hit 54 from 58 deliveries despite a watchful start to their 101-run partnership.

Soumya Sarkar removed Mendis on his way to career-best figures of 3-56, but that brought Dasun Shanaka to the crease for an explosive 30 off 14 balls.

Mathews rode his luck as he was dropped on 32 and 63 before eventually falling to Soumya in the final over.

It was a fine all-round performance from the pick of Bangladesh's attack, but Soumya was powerless at the other end as Shanaka capitalised on Rajitha's early breakthroughs by removing Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun and Mahmudullah cheaply.

Soumya was the eighth man to go for 69, bowled by spinner Akila Dananjaya. The only other resistance of note came from Taijul Islam, who was left on 39 not out after last man Rubel Hossain was run out.

Virat Kohli has offered a strong response to reports he has fallen out with India vice-captain Rohit Sharma, insisting "we have had no issues".

There has been speculation over a rift between Kohli and his deputy Rohit since India were beaten in the Cricket World Cup semi-finals by New Zealand.

However, Kohli repeatedly described such stories as "baffling", "ridiculous" and "disrespectful" as he addressed the media on Monday.

The India skipper insists he has a good relationship with Rohit and the rest of his team-mates, questioning the reason for such reporting, given a lack of evidence.

"In my opinion, it is baffling, to be honest," he told a news conference. "It is absolutely ridiculous to read such stuff.

"I have been to public events and the public says to me, 'We have so much respect for you'.

"We are feeding off lies, we are overlooking facts and we are turning a blind eye to all the good things that have happened, creating fantasies and scenarios in our heads, wanting to accept this is the truth.

"I've seen this for too long now, bringing personal lives into the picture, it's disrespectful honestly. I've played the game for 11 years, Rohit's played the game for 10 years.

"It's bizarre that people are creating this on the outside. It baffles you as a leader, as a coach, as a team when lies are being floated around and are being made to look like they are believable. It's actually very disrespectful, to be honest."

Kohli added he does not understand who would benefit from claims that would do more harm than good to Indian cricket.

"If I don't like a person or if I'm insecure with a person, you will see that on my face or in my behaviour to a person - that's how simple it is," he continued.

"I have always praised Rohit whenever I have had an opportunity because I believe he is that good. We have had no issues. As I said, it's baffling, to be honest.

"I don't know who is benefiting from all of this. We here are living, breathing, working towards getting Indian cricket to the top. And here there are people who get some kind of pleasure in bringing it down.

"I don't understand how that works. You work hard for four years to bring a team from seven to one [in the world rankings], and after four years, what are we talking about?

"Within the team, it's for everyone to see our camaraderie and friendship - and it's evident on the field. You can't play with that kind of passion if people don't get along with each other. It's as simple as that.

"It's baffling and it's time we focus on bringing Indian cricket forward and not on things that are not even there at the moment."

Sunil Gavaskar has hit out at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selectors ahead of India's tour of West Indies, labelling the body "lame ducks" over Virat Kohli continuing as captain.

India exited the Cricket World Cup in the semi-finals, losing to New Zealand after topping the group stage table under Kohli.

He will continue to lead the team in the United States and the Caribbean, though, with Gavaskar questioning why there was no discussions about Kohli's position after India failed to reach the World Cup final.

In a column in Indian outlet Mid Day, Gavaskar said: "That they selected the team for West Indies without first having a meeting to select the captain brings up the question of whether Virat Kohli is the captain of the team at his or the selection committee's pleasure.

"To the best of our knowledge his [Kohli’s] appointment was till the World Cup. After that, it was incumbent on the selectors to meet, even if it was for five minutes for his reappointment."

The India great continued: "Speaking of lame ducks, the Indian selection committee appears to be one.

"After the reappointment, he [Kohli] gets invited to the meeting for his views on selecting the players for the team.

"By bypassing the procedure, the message that goes out is that while the players like Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik get dropped after below-expectations performance, the captain continues despite much below-par expectations, where the team did not even reach the final."

India play the first of three T20 internationals against West Indies on August 3, with three ODI games following before a two-match Test series.

Regardless of who lifts the urn at The Oval in September, one Australian who is plotting Ashes glory should forever be revered in England.

Just 16 months ago Trevor Bayliss was facing calls for him to be axed as England head coach after New Zealand rolled Joe Root's side for only 58 in an embarrassing first-Test defeat in Auckland.

That came on the back of a chastening 4-0 Ashes thumping in Australia, where Bayliss also fended off questions over his future – much more assertively than the tourists did with the Australia bowling attack.

Bayliss would be entitled to feel he had more than enough credit in the bank at that point, having masterminded a transformation of the ODI side from a Cricket World Cup shambles in 2015 to a major force.

There was no word from his critics when top-ranked England were crowned world champions for the first time this month, an ambitious mission that he was challenged to achieve when he took the reins four years ago.

The unassuming Bayliss started his tenure with a home Ashes win and could sign off with another before stepping aside at the end of the series.

An emphatic home Test series win over India and two series victories against South Africa have also been achieved with the former Sri Lanka coach at the helm, as well as a run to the final of the 2016 World T20.

Paul Farbrace, long-time assistant to the man from New South Wales both with England and Sri Lanka, knows as well as anybody why Bayliss has been so successful over the years.

He told Omnisport: "It's very easy when you are a coach to talk a lot, it's very hard not to say a lot and when you do speak, you speak at the right time and you say the right thing.

"That is where I think he is a genius, in that when he speaks, people listen and when he speaks, he genuinely says something that is very good and you think 'that is a great point'.

"There is a lot of things Trevor gets underestimated about. He appears to sit quietly and not say a lot, but he gets his point across and he knows what is going on all the time in the game, he never misses a ball.

"He is a genuine cricket lover and he's passionate about the game, with exceptional knowledge. He may forget the odd name, but he doesn't forget too much about the game.

"He has been the perfect fit for England over the last four years. The World Cup was the goal four years ago and that's what they have achieved."

Farbrace added: "It's a special summer for English cricket; a home World Cup and Ashes in the same six-month period, it's magnificent for the game in this country at all levels of the game.

"There's never been a better time to introduce people to get involved in the game of cricket. If England can win the Ashes it would be the perfect way to see things home and I see no reason why they can't do that."

Whether or not England regain the Ashes, Bayliss can leave the job with his head held high, although he may prefer to stay poker-faced wearing dark shades under his floppy sun hat to stay out of the limelight.

Ryan Sidebottom believes Chris Silverwood should be given the chance to replace Trevor Bayliss as England head coach.

Silverwood was appointed as England bowling coach after masterminding Essex's 2017 County Championship triumph.

Bayliss will end his four-year tenure after an Ashes series that starts at Edgbaston on Thursday, just a few weeks after England lifted the Cricket World Cup for the first time at Lord's.

Sidebottom thinks Silverwood can step up with former England captain Paul Collingwood staying in the set-up to assist him.

The ex-England seamer told Omnisport: "You've got Chris Silverwood and Paul Collingwood already in the set-up, why not pass on the baton to guys who know the players and then bring in a couple of new men - that is how I would see it.

"In Chris Silverwood as coach and Colly assistant you would have two young, hungry guys who know the lads really well and so I would not look too far from those two guys.

"That would bring continuity, which I think is really important on the back of the World Cup and hopefully an Ashes win."

Sidebottom is expecting a tight series against Australia, but thinks England will regain the urn.

He added: "I think they are two really strong bowling attacks. If Australia keep their bowlers fit they are going to trouble our batsmen.

"I reckon it might be quite close, of course I have to say England because they are stronger when you look through the squads, they have got the better batting line-up but England and Australia are very vulnerable to collapses.

"I think England will just shade it. Obviously the top three is still an issue for us, so that is something that everybody will be looking at but I think it will be a cracking series."

 

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