A FIFTH WORLD CUP
Chris Gayle was in blistering form during the recent ODI series against England © Getty
Chris Gayle, West Indies opener, believes staying mentally fit will be his biggest challenge for the upcoming world cup. The 39-year-old has made an impressive return to One-Day Internationals after not having played the format for almost 30 months following the 2015 world cup.
“Age catches up as you ain’t getting any younger. But the most important thing for me is the mental part of the game,” Gayle told PTI. “It is not so much for about the physical side of the game anymore. I have not done much fitness in the last couple of months.
“I use my experience and mental aspect. I have not done gym for some time. 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.”
Having made his debut in September 1999, Gayle is in his 20th year of international cricket, a period in which he has played four World Cups and is en route a fifth. “Honestly (I do it for) the fans, I am not going to lie,” he said. “Maybe a couple of years ago the thought did cross (that I have had enough and what is there to prove). Then the fans came out and said ‘don’t go’. They actually drive me to go on.
“I know nothing lasts forever and hopefully I can give them a few more games and it also pushes you to win the World Cup.”
Having seen some low points during his phase, which forever coincided with turbulent relationship with the West Indies cricket board, Gayle hopes the changes that have come to effect in the last few months will help revive cricket in the region.
“We have seen changes (in cricket board) in the last couple of months,” he said. “Hopefully, the new team gets it right, gets the structure in place. Cricket is the most important thing for the Caribbean. Hope they take the game to where it is supposed to be.
“It will take time of course. Lot of things need to be rebuilt. On the field, we had a good series against England, now the World Cup is coming up and that is another opportunity for us to turn things around.”