West Indies in Bangladesh 2012-13 November 10, 2012

'Off-field trouble part of cricketer's life' - Gayle

ESPNcricinfo staff

Chris Gayle's return to the West Indies ranks has been a happy one. He has tucked a Test century and a world title under his belt since June this year when the 15-month impasse with the WICB ended. He's also worldlier, not just from playing all the Twenty20 leagues, but for being equipped to deal with every aspect of cricket administration, an aspect he thinks is a "part of life" as an international cricketer.

"We are playing international cricket, so there's going to be issues to deal with on and off the field," Gayle said. "As a player you have to know how to deal with things around your career. You have to be strong-minded to get the job done. It is part of life."

Following the 2011 World Cup, the Gayle-WICB saga came to a head after Gayle criticised the selectors. He was first dropped for the visits of Pakistan and India to the Caribbean and was also ignored for the tour to Bangladesh in October. He went on to miss series against India, Australia and England from November 2011 to June this year, West Indies having won just 14 out of the 47 international matches during this latest stint away from the team. The standoff was only broken when he and his agent met the selectors in St Vincent, following which the WICB picked him for the limited-overs leg of the England tour.

Despite the return, Gayle has said that off-field issues are endemic, and it has to be dealt with. "We will always have these things to deal with off the field, every particular board is going to have problems. It is something we have to live with."

Gayle has made it count though. He made 150 and another half-century over two Tests against New Zealand earlier this year and he has averaged above 50 in ODIs and Twenty20s since his return. And he's been having fun in the dressing-room too.

"If you don't have fun, you'll struggle in international cricket. I am enjoying it, it's good to be back and contributing at the top of the order. Hopefully in the next couple of years, things can get better from a personal point of view. I will try and entertain as much as possible," said Gayle who turned 33 during the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, a tournament that saw West Indies back on the winners' podium after 33 years.

Gayle said he can look back to the tournament with fond memories, but is now more inclined to focus on Test cricket. "It is great, to get that milestone of winning the World T20," he said. "This is something that I can look back in the future and say I was a part of it. This is just another target we can set, and do better in the longer form of the game. That has been our major challenge in the last couple of years."

He was also happy to see Darren Sammy, the man who took over long-term from Gayle (though Dwayne Bravo and Floyd Reifer were in charge for three games in the interim), take strides as the leader.

"He has played a particular role in the last two years," he said. "It is not an easy role to be captain. We are trying to make his job as easy as possible. We try to play a part by helping him out, but he's done well. He got a Test century this year which is a big improvement from his personal point of view. He's doing well with the ball too. He will get to learn more and make changes and see how he can cope with it, to be a better captain."

When West Indies take on Bangladesh in the first Test at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium from November 13, it will also be Gayle's first Test away from home in almost two years.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on November 13, 2012, 1:30 GMT

    I was one of Gayle's biggest critics prior to his return to the team. His attitude wasn't the best and he openly said that if Test cricket died, he just wouldn't care. He was very critical of the whole set up too. I believed he was unnecessarily self-centered.

    Now I'm sensing a new, more matured man and player and he is to be commended for it. I like this version of Gayle, the one that rather than put down his captain, is complementing him. The one that wants to do his best to uplift and advance our team and by extension, the game in our region.

    That's what it's all about, Mr. Gayle. I wish you and the team the very best as you collectively try to turn things around. May the Lord bless each and every member of our team.

  • Dummy4 on November 12, 2012, 19:50 GMT

    @Coolgye...It doesn't matter whether I'm a Bangladeshi or whatever, I support all teams including Associates. Its only some of the silly fans I have a problem with. Now coming to the point Mortaza style of bowling is different he hardly bowls bouncers or yorkers and most of the time sticks to good length plus his pace has reduced a bit because of his injuries. In limited overs Cricket you can get away from bowling how you want its all about putting balls in the good area which Mortaza does. He doesn't play much that's why he's not in top 10. Nazmul Hossain though not tall and express is an improved bowler still very young but a lot of the credit has to go to Ian Pont for nurturing him. There are a few other fast bowlers that are okay but that's all Bangladesh has which is one of the major reasons they struggle at tests. Mortaza contributed in the Asia Cup final with quick strong hitting when they still required some 50 runs after Shakib was out in the end losing by 2.

  • Usman on November 12, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    @Ahmed Hussain - If you want to direct me to the Asia Cup then i'll tell you his weakness. He should know that Nasir Jamshed is powerful when the ball is coming on his legs. Despite knowing this he kept on bowling on his legs and went on to being hit for four. He concedes a lot of runs thats why he isn't in the top 10 bowlers. He is a good bowler and i respect him for his performances but since he has to lead the attack he should at least know the weakness of the batsmen facing. Nazmul is actually the Mohammed Aamer of Bangladesh. He has a bright future ahead of him. And yeah i wanted to ask you when was the last time Mortaza contributed with runs? Are you from Bangladesh or what?

  • Dummy4 on November 12, 2012, 0:32 GMT

    the windies now have the right combination and mental toughness ,they will keep improving rome wasnt built in a day .

  • Smith on November 11, 2012, 23:28 GMT

    @InsideHedge: I agree with you except for your last point because still no team has scored being how bad Bangladesh was a triple century against them as of yet.

  • Sanjay on November 11, 2012, 21:08 GMT

    Bangla need to prepare spinning wickets, as simple as that. For bangla to be respected in Tests, the first thing they need to do is to be difficult to beat at home. As it stands, they are poor home and away. A line-up of seamers is not going to bowl out the West Indies twice in a game, so why do they keep picking these guys? Play to your strengths, you need turners and open against Gayle with an off-spinner. Study what happened when WI toured SL last, Gayle began with a triple ton and fizzled out thereafter with the off-spin tactics. Learn otherwise you'll be looking at triple tons every Test!

  • Jonny on November 11, 2012, 21:01 GMT

    @Naresh Pitamber:- You'd be surprised just how serious Gibson is with the West Indies team. Darren Sammy is okay for limited overs but is test his game? I mean having Andre Russel instead of him will benefit the West Indies test team in my opinion.

  • Jonny on November 11, 2012, 20:58 GMT

    @Steve Rod:- The problem with Shivarine is that he bats at 5 and then the West Indies are all out. If he bats at 4 then he'll be dangerous no doubt about that.

  • Jonny on November 11, 2012, 20:56 GMT

    He scored a 150 on his comeback test against New Zealand so no doubt he's come back for good. Even as a Bangladesh fan I still actually want him to score big you can't resist it cause he's such an entertainer all the best to him!!!!

  • Dummy4 on November 11, 2012, 20:52 GMT

    He should come and play in County Cricket if its possible, no doubt he'll set the stadiums alight.

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