NZ v WI, 4th quarter-final, Wellington March 21, 2015

'Haven't retired from any format' - Gayle

ESPNcricinfo staff
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I'm out of the Test series, the back won't hold up for that format at this point in time' - Chris Gayle © International Cricket Council

Chris Gayle is not retiring from any form of the game, but a recurring back injury will keep him out of West Indies' upcoming home Test series against England.

"Definitely want to play the T20 World Cup next year for West Indies, there's no doubt about that," Gayle told ESPNcricinfo. "I've got a few concerns and a few injury [cases] to try and solve. I'll give myself some time and hopefully look back at it and see how well I can actually progress for West Indies cricket at this point in time.

"I'm actually out of the Test series, the back won't hold up for that format at this point in time. But I haven't retired from any format as yet. As I go on I will keep informing WICB about my progress in the future with West Indies cricket."

West Indies were knocked out of the World Cup on Saturday after losing their quarter-final against New Zealand by 143 runs. Gayle made a 33-ball 61 in an attempt to keep West Indies in touch with the asking rate in a chase of 394. Gayle said he suffered a groin strain during the game, but his back didn't trouble him too much.

"[The back] actually held up well, to be honest with you, in the outfield for 50 overs and then opening the batting," he said. "It wasn't too bad, slight scare again with a niggle in the groin, so all that was happening, and you have to take the conditions into consideration, it was a bit cold and you're feeling some pain."

West Indies lost to Ireland in their opening match of the World Cup, and went through an up-and-down ride that eventually carried them into the quarter-finals. Gayle felt West Indies had played good cricket and were a 'good all-round team', even though they missed Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard - whose omissions he had spoken out against before the tournament.

"I thought we played some great cricket," Gayle said. "Yes we missed [Bravo and Pollard], but I thought we did well. We had a good all-round team, and the guys played some crucial innings for us.

"It was a situation where you look at it, we reached a quarterfinal, anything could have happened, you just need two good games. You chase 390 runs, psychologically it will affect your batters, but if we actually had a better plan or structure chasing these sort of targets, it could have helped us in some sort of way.

"[We were bowled out for] 250 with 19 overs to go, that goes to tell how dangerous we can be, but just to get the mindset right and get a hold of everything and the players to actually believe we can make these things happen."

The WICB appointed Jason Holder, the 23-year-old allrounder, as West Indies' ODI captain months before the World Cup. Asked how he rated Holder's captaincy, Gayle said he had room to improve but wished him well, and hoped he would hold the team together in the future.

"There's always room for improvement," Gayle said. "There's no doubt about it. Nothing wrong with a young captain, but goes to show [how] inexperience can play a big part in this sort of tournament. Can Jason actually grow from this, get more structure behind him and more support in this area? Then hopefully he can build on this and use this as a learning experience.

"It's never going to be easy, coming here and captaining in a World Cup for the first time, it's always going to be a mind factor and lot of pressure is going to be there on a youngster like that, but in the future, I wish him well, hopefully he can use this as a learning experience, and can get better. Just keep your players together and just hold them and stick with them."

Gayle looked forward to working with Phil Simmons, who will take over as West Indies' coach after the World Cup. Simmons, the former West Indies allrounder, has just ended an eight-year stint with the Ireland team.

"I know Phil from a personal point of view, I know him well," Gayle said. "He's a good man, he has done well with Ireland and he's one of us as well, so there's no doubt about it. We know how we can actually become a stronger unit.

"I didn't know he was appointed, so that's news to me at this point in time, so I wish him all the best and hopefully he'll have a successful coaching career with West Indies and can uplift West Indies cricket and take us further in international cricket and help the Regional [Tournament] as well."

In West Indies' group match against Zimbabwe, Gayle made 215, the first double-century in World Cup cricket. In Saturday's quarterfinal, Martin Guptill bettered his effort and smashed an unbeaten 237. Gayle was one of the first West Indies players to congratulate Guptill when he went past 200.

"Yeah, fantastic," Gayle said. "[Guptill] batted well, we know his capability. It was a good wicket out there, it was a belter out there, small ground, small boundary, but we can't take anything away from the fact that he batted superbly. He set up his innings fantastically. Congrats to him on getting the double century, 237 I think, I wish him all the best furthermore in his career, and he's a wonderful player as well."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Derek on March 31, 2015, 12:18 GMT

    @lexington struggling with fitness and struggling with a recurring back injury and playijg cricket are two separate issues. Many players have had to quit the game prematurely as a result of back related injuries

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2015, 13:27 GMT

    Well that statement comes as a surprise. He's made no secret of how he feels about Test cricket and he even looks like he's been struggling with his fitness in 50 over matches. T20s look like the only motivation that drives him on. I think he should retire from tests and ODIs and focus on T20.

  • chandu on March 23, 2015, 12:59 GMT

    Makes sense.... WI can't even dream of winning WC 2019.... so let him play as much as possible and make money... nothing wrong in it...

  • o on March 23, 2015, 6:03 GMT

    Let him have his surgery and see how he feels this is right decision no need for premature retirement.Hopefully it goes well I'm sure he'; be working with best and afterwards he can play T20WC Champions trophy next two years for sure.

  • Nagendra on March 23, 2015, 3:29 GMT

    We will miss you in RCB. Come back soon.

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2015, 3:25 GMT

    Where in Gayle's record can be he considered a legend? Is he absolutely destructive from time to time? Yes. That's it. He surely hasn't helped to turn things around for the team. It got worse. Can't only blame him, but a legend makes a lasting impact and the stats will show it.

  • David on March 22, 2015, 18:31 GMT

    It is time for Gayle to move on, at least from Test and ODI cricket. I don't have a problem with him staying on until the World T20 in India next year. For one, he cannot dictate when he is available to play or not. The board has to look at the big picture and determine what's best for WI cricket. It is time to start molding a team for the next WC; according to the format in 2019 WI is not guaranteed a spot. The younger players need to be given a chance to prove themselves now! Gayle is only delaying the inevitable from happening, there is no better time than now to give it up!

  • Steve on March 22, 2015, 13:47 GMT

    I think Gayle should do freelance for T20s from now on.

  • Dummy4 on March 22, 2015, 13:31 GMT

    Great.you are legend, you can serve more for your country, you are very important part of WI team,

  • Muhammad on March 22, 2015, 11:15 GMT

    Chris Gayle has been a fantastic player for the Windies over the years, and I don't think that there is any person out there who can deny his brilliance. However, I feel that it is time for him to step down while he is still on top of his game, just like Sangakara has done. As the Windies have shown over the last few months, they have become far too reliant on his powerful striking, and one almost gets the impression that when Gayle is dismissed the Windies players feel like they are already out of the game. Sure, if he continues to play he will probably dismantle a few more mediocre bowling attacks, but it would be to the detriment of West Indies cricket to not start building a new team around the talented and level-headed Jason Holder.

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