Chris Gayle, the hard-hitting West Indian opener, revealed a few hard truths regarding the future of Test cricket in the Caribbean and also lamented the structure of modern day cricket. While discussing the significant dip West Indies had gone through in the last 15 years, the 37-year old Jamaican cited lack of concentration and consistency as a hindrance in sustaining success in the longer format.
“It will be difficult for West Indies to go back where they were in Test cricket. The structure of modern day cricket is such that it will be difficult to regain those days of glory because of the advent of the shorter format and the interest that it has generated among the youngsters. In longer formats, you need to concentrate more and have that game discipline in order to achieve consistency,” Gayle said in an interview to PTI on Tuesday (December 13).
Gayle opined that it’s the duration of the game which draws the attacking flair from the Caribbean players. “If you look at our T20 success it is because of the short duration that helps one play their attacking game. So if you ask me about a turnaround (in Tests), it seems difficult as of now.”
The dashing left-hander also acknowledged that the younger generation from the West Indies could be enticed by the benefits of participating in T20 leagues across the globe. “You cannot rule out that possibility that Gen Next in the Caribbean will be more inclined to play T20 leagues. If you are a professional cricketer, you would want to have a good career. With so many leagues across the globe, one needs to accept it as a reality today.”
Speaking about his personal rift with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Gayle mentioned, “No, I have not spoken to anybody. I believe we have a designated players’ body and they represent us. If the players need to voice any concern they tell it to the association.”
He didn’t deny the fact that there are issues that need to be sorted between the board and the players. “Everyone has some sort of responsibility to take West Indies cricket forward. You don’t want a situation like Dwayne Bravo was in. Every player wants to play for the West Indies but there are issues that need to be addressed.”
Speaking about the targets he has set for himself, Gayle said: “I am not playing in the Big Bash as I am spending time with my family and recuperating from an injury. I am eyeing a comeback during Pakistan Super League (PSL) and then the Indian Premier League. If I am fit and in form, I would still like to play for the West Indies, not only in T20 but in ODIs as well. If you ask me, I would like to play till the 2019 World Cup in England. That’s a target I have set for myself.”