Big-hitting Gayle foresees sixes at 2019 World Cup

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NEW DELHI, Aug 3, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Veteran West Indies batsman Chris
Gayle is confident he will still be hitting sixes at the World Cup next year
and insists his explosive style has changed the one-day game.

Gayle is a well known one-day mercenary appearing in T20 events around the
world and has scored more than 3,000 runs in the Indian Premier League —
including hundreds of boundaries. He hit 142 runs in a recent one-day
international series against Bangladesh that the West Indies lost 2-1.

The explosive left-hander will be 39 in September however and his often
rocky relationship with the West Indies Cricket Board has led critics to
predict the end of his international career. He disagrees.

“Leading up to the 2019 World Cup and play in England, that is the
objective to meet,” Gayle told reporters in New Delhi on Friday.

“We are going to have a discussion with the selectors, captain and coach
and see how we go about it,” the batsman added.

Gayle equalled former Pakistan batsman Shahid Afridi’s record of 476 sixes
in all formats during his 73-run knock in the third match against Bangladesh
this week.

He also holds the T20 record of 18 sixes in an innings during a Bangladesh
Premier League game last year and says his smash-the-ball style has changed
the limited-overs game.

“I think you want to thank Mr. Gayle for doing that. He is the man who
made those things possible,” said Gayle — the self-proclaimed ‘Universe-
Boss’ on Twitter.

“Overall everything has changed, Test cricket has changed. It’s more
entertaining for people who come to watch the game.”

But his run-scoring antics have not necessarily helped West Indies in
recent times.

– ‘Kohli inspires’ –

West Indies dominated world cricket in the 1970s and 80s but are now
ranked seventh in T20s, ninth in ODI and eighth in Test matches.

“Things won’t just happen overnight. Talent is there but consistency is
not there. Players need to go out there and have the self-belief to win
series and not just win a one-off game,” he said.

“Get into the habit of winnings series. It’s a long process. We definitely
have a bright future with lot of youngsters coming in,” he opined.

Gayle is tipping names like Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope to
make an impact at the World Cup in England next year.

Gayle also hailed his former Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL teammate
Virat Kohli for his gritty 149 that lifted India against England in the first
Test.

Kohli defied critics and dragged India from a precarious 100-5 to 274 in
response to England’s 287 in the first innings.

“It was a fantastic innings and a captain’s knock. He converts a lot of
those half-centuries into hundreds which is very good,” said Gayle.

“From the captain’s point of view he boosts his players up to have that
self-belief to go there and and win games,” he added.

“The way he batted with the tail enders, you can see the guys were very
determined. Because of his presence they play with more and more guts and
determination.”

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