Chris Gayle is to retire from ODIs following the Cricket World Cup, West Indies have confirmed. 

The explosive batsman is second only to the legendary Brian Lara in the list of most ODI runs scored by a West Indies player, having scored 9,672 to date.

Gayle has played 281 50-over matches in his career, scoring 23 hundreds – the most by a West Indian in the format.

The 39-year-old's involvement in one-day cricket has dwindled in recent years due to his stints in various lucrative Twenty20 tournaments. 

Cricket West Indies announced the news via a short statement that read: "Talismanic WINDIES batsman, Chris Gayle, has announced he will retire from One-Day Internationals following the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 England & Wales."

Gayle was included for the Windies' first two ODIs of the five-match series with England, the first of which takes place in Bridgetown on Wednesday.

South Africa and New Zealand will give the Windies their final look at what they can expect ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2019 when the Caribbean side battles them in International Cricket Council (ICC)-sanctioned warm-up games. 

Talented Windies players Andre Russell and Sunil Narine could be major doubts for the 2019 World Cup after pulling out of the upcoming One Day Internationals (ODI’s) against England.

The 30-year-old Narine, once considered one of the best spinners in the world, has reportedly informed Cricket West Indies (CWI) that he is not eligible for selection.  The player cited a lack of confidence in a remodelled action, an issue that has plagued him in recent years, as the primary reason for his decision.

Russell, who is the same age as Narine, is considered one of the best all-rounders in T20 cricket and has often spoken of taking his talent to the ODI arena for the region.  The player has, however, cited recent issues with his knee as the cause of his unavailability for the series.  The all-rounder is currently taking part in T20 cricket but does not believe the damaged ligament will hold up to the scrutiny of the longer format. 

With the tournament just four months away, both players are running out of time to impress the selectors ahead of a possible pick.  For similar reasons, the duo also missed out on taking part in last year’s ICC World Cup qualifiers.

Windies star Chris Gayle insists his focus remains firmly on taking part in the ICC World Cup in England, despite missing out on the current tour of India.

The West Indies will host India in at least two T20 internationals in Florida next summer, immediately after the 2019 World Cup.

Darren Bravo and CWI have come to an understanding that he won’t be rushed backed into international cricket, while Sunil Narine progress to play the longer formats is under discussion with his representatives according to Cricket West Indies (CWI) CEO Johnny Grave. 

Cricket West Indies (CWI) CEO Johnny Grave has revealed that a number of top international T20 players, previously involved in much-publicised spats with the board, could put themselves in contention for a spot at next year’s ICC World Cup by taking part in the upcoming regional season.

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