Windies veteran batsman Chris Gayle has admitted to focusing on his mental preparation, ahead of even the physical aspects as his final World Cup appearance looms on the horizon.

Despite being one of the oldest players heading to the tournament, the 39-year-old has been in solid form in recent months.  In this season’s IPL Gayle has scored 490 runs in 13 matches but really stood out for the recent England series in the Caribbean.  The veteran batsman was named man of the series after amassing 429 runs in four matches at an average of 106.  The player believes keeping fresh has been key.

"I am just taking a lot of rest, getting a lot of massages, lots of stretching, just trying to stay fresh for games. I know what is required to keep me going on the field," Chris Gayle told PTI.

"Age catches up as you ain't getting any younger. But most important thing for me is the mental part of the game. It is not so much about the physical side of the game anymore. I have not done much fitness in the last couple of months," said the Windies veteran.

"I use my experience and mental aspect. I have not done gym for some time," said Chris Gayle.

Shai Hope and Chris Gayle have been named as the vice-captains of West Indies team for the Ireland Tri-Nation Series and ICC Cricket World Cup, respectively.

Explosive opener Chris Gayle has returned to the Jamaica Tallawahs for the 2019 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season.

This was revealed by Jefferson Miller, Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Tallawahs during the franchise's 2019 CPL season launch on Saturday at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

Miller said Gayle has been signed as "their marquee player and will captain the team."

Miller further added that "we are delighted to have Chris playing for his home team for the 2019 season. There is no bigger name in Twenty20 cricket, and we can’t wait for him to arrive and make the Jamaican fans proud. We are looking forward to Chris being a big part of our push for a third CPL title.”  

Gayle was with the Tallawahs from 2013 to 2016, winning the title with them twice in that time. Since then he has been with St Kitts & Nevis Patriots where he has captained them to the playoffs in successive years, making the final in 2017. 

The Tallawahs will be playing five home games in Jamaica during the 2019 season giving the fans at Sabina Park the chance to see Gayle in action on his home ground.

The leading T20 batsman of all time, Gayle is the only player with more than 10,000 runs in the format. He is the leading CPL run scorer with 2111 runs and has scored three CPL hundreds, all of those for the Tallawahs. 

The rest of the Tallawahs squad will be decided at the Hero CPL Players Draft which takes place on May 22. 

This year, the CPL will bowl off in September for the first time.

The move to push back the competition was to ensure the availability of all West Indian players as the Caribbean side is set to host India between during July and August.

Windies batting star Chris Gayle believes the upcoming World Cup will be a wide open one and the regional team could have a good a chance as any to lift the title.

The 39-year-old star batsman believes that the hosts England will start favourite when the tournament bowls off next month, but with other teams know to extract good performances from conditions in England Gayle believes the tournament will be competitive.

“Almost every team has a chance to actually win the World Cup. Everybody puts England as favourites and they are at home.  They have a star-studded team as well, a well-balanced all-around team as well, so you have to give them credit,” Gayle told India Today.

“India always plays well in England, Pakistan always plays well in England so you have to look at those team that always do well in those kinds of conditions.  Australia, you can’t write them off, they're always up there and you can’t write off New Zealand either.  Everybody really and truly has a chance but there is going to be one winner, the West Indies and that goes without saying,” he added.

The big left-hander was confirmed as one of 15 members for the Windies World Cup squad, where he will make a fifth appearance at the tournament.

Windies all-rounder Kieron Pollard has admitted he is hopeful of a recall to the regional team, following the recent change of regime and appointment of a fresh panel of selectors.

Newly appointed Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt announced several changes to the administration on Thursday.  Robert Haynes was named to replace Courtney Browne as chairman of selectors, with Floyd Reifer replacing Richard Pybus as interim Windies coach to name a few.  In addition, the entire panel of selectors has been dismissed.

Pybus, who led the team to a surprise win over England in the Test series and a 2-2 draw in the One Day Internationals (ODI), was expected to take the team to the World Cup.  The 31-year-old Pollard, who was previously called to the Windies squad ahead of the ICC World Cup qualifiers, was not expected to factor in the occasion. 

The Trinidadian had made himself unavailable prior to the World Cup qualifiers, after taking issue with just being given four days to respond and prior commitments to take part in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).  The player, however, continued to express an interest in continuing to represent the team and hopes the latest changes will give him another chance.

 “There has been a lot of turmoil in West Indies cricket over the last couple of years. I was blacklisted. We have seen in the last couple of weeks there’s a change. The most I can do every time I step on the cricket field is try to put runs on the board,” he said in reference to the appointment of Skerritt as CWI president.

“We have a new chairman of selectors, there’s a new president of the cricket board, and as I said you take it as it comes. There’s people there who have the job to select and whatever and let’s see how that goes. I’m 31 years old, I have cricket left in me. Gayle is still playing, he’s 39, and he’s whacking it all around.”

Pollard recently showed plenty of quality in the IPL, smashing an astounding 83 off just 31 balls for Mumbai Indians, which upstaged Gayle’s Kings XI Punjab earlier this week. 

Kings XI Punjab will one eye nervously set on Windies star Chris Gayle who is believed to have suffered an injury during the team’s IPL encounter against Mumbai Indians on Thursday.

Gayle struck a 36-ball 63 but was eventually upstaged by regional teammate Kieron Pollard who scored an astounding 83 runs from 31-balls.  The 39-year-old opener is, however, more critically believed to have suffered a back injury during the match, the severity of which is yet to be assessed.

 “He (Gayle) said he twisted his back. We have to go check and how he is,” KXIP captain Ravichandran Ashwin said.  KXIP batting coach Sridharan Sriram also confirmed that the athlete had suffered an injury.

“He felt a twitch in the back – that’s what he said. We need to assess and monitor what he’s going to do over the next couple of days.”

Gayle did not take the field during Mumbai Indians’ successful run chase.  The big left-hander has been in fine form for both club and country scoring 223 runs in six games.  For the West Indies Gayle put in a sensational performance in the recent home series where he scored 424 runs in four games, which fueled a strongly contested 2-2 draw against higher-ranked England.  With the World Cup just a couple of months away the Windies will be hoping to keep their talisman in pristine condition if possible.

 

Andre Russell came up trumps over Chris Gayle in the battle of the West Indian superstars as Kolkata Knight Riders secured a 28-run win over King XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Wednesday.

Russell scored 49 off 19 and claimed 2 for 21 to score a second straight win for the Knight Riders.  Chasing a massive 218, King XI would have needed a big innings from Gayle who was off a strong start with 20 from 13 balls. 

Russell, however, put a stop to any hopes of a massive score after having the batsman caught, attempting to pull a delivery that hurried into him.  Gayle has been in good form, after scoring 79 in the team’s opening match against Rajastan Royals.

Russell was pleased to get bragging rights over his teammate, a man known these days as the ‘Universe Boss’.

 "Gayle is like a brother to me, the bigger legend," the 30-year-old all-rounder said.

 "To get him out early was great. The plan was to bowl tight to him and restrict him. I am happy that I could get the job done."

Kings XI Punjab coach Mike Hesson has hailed young West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran as the new Chris Gayle, tipping the player for a big impact ahead of the new IPL season.

The 23-year-old will play in the IPL for a second season, having been drafted by Islamabad in 2017.  On the bag of several impressive performances this season, the Trinidad and Tobago-born batsman was purchased by XI Punjab at the IPL 2019 auction for a whopping Rs 42 million (Rs 4.2 crore).  The price was a surprise for some, but Hesson is confident it will pay dividends for Punjab, who are looking to recover from a somewhat disappointing 2018 season.

“I am sure you all are excited about him when you look at the numbers he is putting up around the world at the moment,” Hesson said.

Pooran has appeared in six T20 Internationals and scored 105 runs at an average of 26.25. With five sixes, he has an impressive strike rate of 156.

“Obviously, he’s just been introduced to West Indies one-day international squad. He’s been a dynamic performer around the scene with strike-rates nearing the 200s in some competitions. Left-hand bat, I would always call him a young Chris Gayle with that imposing nature. The ability to play spin and hit spin outside the park could play well,” he added.

Christopher Henry Gayle may never walk out onto a cricket pitch for the West Indies, now Windies, in the Caribbean again, well not in a One Day International anyway, and while that thought does not make him happy, the way he has left the stage in the region, fills him with pride. 

After a sensational performance to date against England, Windies batting star Chris Gayle has hinted he might reconsider his imminent retirement from One Day International (ODI) cricket.

The 39-year-old hardly looked his age as he bludgeoned a six-filled 162 against England in the fourth ODI at the Grenada National Cricket ground.  Combined with a blistering 135 in the first match in Bridgetown and 50 in the second, it seems the veteran batsman has lost none of his ability to dominate bowlers.

Earlier this month, Gayle had announced his intention to retire from the ODI format following the 2019 World Cup in England.  It seems the recent strong showing has at least prompted the batsman to consider a change of heart.

"I've been playing a lot of T20 cricket, so it's always going to be a difficult coming back into 50 over cricket. But eventually, the body gets accustomed to the 50-over format," Gayle said.

"I just have to work on the body, and then maybe you can see a bit more Chris Gayle. Things change quickly. Hopefully, the body can change in the next couple of months and we can see what happens,” he added.

"What's the matter with the body? I'm nearly 40. But could I un-retire? We'll see. We'll take it slowly," he added.

 

Windies batting star Chris Gayle has lamented a ‘reckless’ shot, despite a whirlwind knock of 162 against England in a losing cause at the Grenada National Stadium on Wednesday.

In pursuit of a sizable target of 418, which was anchored by a smashing innings from Englishman Jos Butler, it was Gayle who launched a fierce response of his own. 

The big left-hander fell just short of his record of 16 sixes in an ODI innings, when he slammed 14 over the boundary rope in a battling effort at the crease.  Gayle was dismissed after missing against Ben Stokes.

In the end, it was not enough to stave off a loss for the Windies who fell just 29 runs short of the sizable total but few could argue it was an effort to be proud of.  The 39-year-old became only the second batsman to reach 300 runs, with the performance pushing him to 305, second to only Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi (351).  The total, the 25th century of the batsman’s career was his second highest total in the format.

"I didn't know what was going to happen. Normally when chasing a big total, you give yourself less overs to get in,” Gayle said following the match,

"It was a good wicket and once you get momentum as a batter, you are going to get runs,” he added.

"Wood bowled well. With his pace, he's always going to be somebody to be wary of. After losing two quick wickets, I said we had to build a partnership but the shot I played, in the end, was a bit reckless. If I had batted deeper, who knows what might have happened?"

Despite a century from Shimron Hetmyer, the Windies will still have it all to do to get back into their One Day International series against England after ending the first innings of their second game at Kensington Oval on 289-6. 

Windies skipper Jason Holder has hailed the impact of top opening batsman Chris Gayle who cracked 135 in a losing effort against England on Monday.

On a placid Kensington Oval pitch that suited the batsmen, the 39-year-old left-hander cracked an astounding 12 sixes and four 4s enroute to his 135 off 129 balls.  The effort was, however, somewhat in vain as England cruised to a six-wicket win on the back of centuries from Jason Roy (123) and Joe Root (102).  The result saw England move ahead 1-0 in the five-test One Day International series.

“Credit to our batters I thought we played exceptionally well on what was a really good pitch, one of the best I have seen at Kensington Oval for a while. I thought Chris played a really good innings. He took a bit of time upfront, got himself set and then put pressure back on the spinners in the middle and forced Eoin Morgan to bring back the seamers back a bit earlier. I felt he held the innings together and gave other batters a chance to express themselves,” Holder said.

“England played well to chase down our target. We’re now 1-0 down so we know we have to bounce back on Friday and look to make it 1-1 before we head off to Grenada.”

The teams will play the second ODI at the same venue tomorrow.

Universe boss Chris Gayle described his last innings at Kensington Oval on Wednesday as one of his best.

Veteran opener, Christopher Henry Gayle, now has 24 centuries under his belt after smashing 135 off 128 deliveries to lead the Windies to 360 for 8 in the first One Day International of series against England at the Kensington Oval in Barbados. 

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