West Indies news July 13, 2017

Player-board relationship 'steadily improving' - Gayle

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Chris Gayle could be a regular feature in West Indies' limited-overs squads for the tour to England © AFP

West Indies could feature a full-strength squad across formats as early as August this year, according to Chris Gayle. Gayle said "things have been steadily improving" with regard to the dispute between the players and Cricket West Indies.

"The fans were happy to see me back on the field representing West Indies. Hopefully, things can get better. Hopefully I can play a few more games. I definitely want to play the 2019 World Cup," Gayle said. "Things are beginning to open up a little more now between players and the board. It's looking good, and we've to try and build from this to get the best players out on the field."

Currently, Cricket West Indies follows a stringent policy of considering only those players who have featured in the domestic 50-over competition, under the regime of Julian Hunte and Ernest Hilaire. In recent times, however, the CWI have been more open to negotiation, which Courtney Browne, the chairman of selectors, too spoke of in May.

Gayle said discussions regarding the possibility of featuring in a full-strength squad for West Indies' tour of England in August were positive. "That's what is actually in discussion. It's for them to make the announcement, and make it formal so that we know what is what," Gayle said. "We'll wait and see what happens.

"I can't get into specific details, just from the little I've experienced since coming back, it's been good. There's still more discussion to be done. It's positive. That's the good thing about it. We've to just look to carry on from here. Once we are guided with the rules, if it is going to change fully, we'll know how to take things further."

Gayle was also optimistic that investment in a young squad, particularly Evin Lewis, would pay off eventually, even though results in recent times - a loss to Afghanistan and an ODI series defeat to India apart from their failure to qualify for the Champions Trophy - haven't gone their way.

"Two centuries in two T20s against India, it's fantastic," Gayle said of Lewis. "He's a small player but a powerful player. He's very young and very hungry, he's one for the future. Once more consistency comes into his play, he will be more dangerous. It was a brilliant innings just the other day to put us into that winning position by batting right through the end was fantastic. That's what I love to see, especially an opener batting right through to take it till the end and win games.

"With our experience, we all try and share as much as we can before we go; 2019 is just around the corner. We don't want to miss out like what happened at the Champions Trophy. We will try and push hard for that and everyone can work collectively to make sure we're part of the World Cup."

Gayle also said he was "excited" at seeing young fast bowlers challenge him at the nets, and impressed upon the need to maintain his fitness to take every step possible to put himself in fray for selection. "I'm still being active in the gym, putting in the work. These youngsters are very sharp, they try to take your head off saying 'he's old now, take him down,'" he said. "You've got to be mindful, got to be ready at all times. I'm trying and looking after the body. There's a lot of travelling, so I try and monitor [my schedules and training] as much as possible."

Chris Gayle was speaking in Bengaluru at the launch of IONA Entertainment, a virtual-reality gaming arcade

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ralph on July 17, 2017, 12:49 GMT

    I am tired this nonsense that Darren Ssmmy is a great leader. You guys obviously don't know much about leadership! At best he's a mediocre has-been!

  • sheldo2663719 on July 15, 2017, 9:58 GMT

    when Sammy was Captain everyone wanted him out. now they wish he is reenstated.

  • michael on July 15, 2017, 8:13 GMT

    One last sting in the scorpion's tail. Darren Bravo was not selected for the tests in England as the team was "selected the week before". I actually prefer this because he will now play for KKR in the CPL and this may open the doors for a contract in the auctions later. Remember he gave up T20s and ODIs to focus on tests. I have seen him in T20 action and he has ability to accelerate including hitting the final ball out of the Oval to win the game when 5 was needed so he would have a chance to make up for revenues lost due to the lengthy impasse.

  • dale on July 14, 2017, 14:15 GMT

    Let Sammy lead. He wears his heart on his sleeve and can inspire the entire region.

  • Valavan on July 14, 2017, 10:56 GMT

    2019 WC fears teaches the WICB a cruel lesson.

  • Zane on July 14, 2017, 4:58 GMT

    sammy needs to be put back as captain.

  • Muhammad Ali on July 14, 2017, 4:30 GMT

    All the best to Gayle and company...Sammy should be reinstated to captaincy once the saga is resolved...Powerful WI team is a must for world cricket.

  • Simon on July 14, 2017, 1:29 GMT

    Sammy is a natural leader- when did we see one of those...Clive Lloyd days methinks. So what do we do sack him. Happy but wary of this board. Very wary.

  • dalenh6504705 on July 13, 2017, 20:09 GMT

    Sad thing is Phil Simmons got fired asking for the international players to be included ...now CWI buckling under the pressure of not qualifying for the World Cup

  • Cricinfouser on July 13, 2017, 17:11 GMT

    Will be good to see sammy, gayle, bravo , narine and badree playing in the odi series against england in august and would be a good thing to see the superman back only if he can be released from his unfortunate ban.

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