Chris Gayle announces he will retire from ODI cricket after World Cup

West Indies batsman Chris Gayle has confirmed he will retire from one-day internationals after this summer’s World Cup but is willing to lend his star power to the England and Wales Cricket Board’s new 100-ball competition.

The 39-year-old Jamaican has racked up 284 ODIs since his debut almost 20 years ago and will quit the 50-over format after one final tilt at silverware.

Gayle, preparing to take on England in a five-match series starting in Barbados on Wednesday, said: “In 50-over cricket, definitely the World Cup (is the end). I’m looking to draw the line there – or should I say cut the string – let the youngsters have some fun and I can sit back in the party stand and watch them.

“It is a big year for me, to be honest. I hope 2019 can finish for me on a great note.”

Asked if he might bow out in grand fashion as a World Cup winner, the big-hitting left-hander said: “Absolutely, the youngsters owe it to me. They have to do that for me and try and get me the trophy. But I’ll be looking to put my input in as well.”

Gayle will continue to be available for Twenty20s, banking a regular stream of franchise deals and a short-form World Cup in Australia in 2020, but he is also open to the ECB’s divisive new tournament.

The 100-ball competition will also debut in 2020 and Gayle made it clear he would be happy to bring his own unique brand of entertainment if drafted.

(PA Graphic)

“Well, if I don’t start it, it won’t be a tournament,” he said.

“I guess England should invite me over. Then I’ll explode the tournament and say ‘thank you guys; bring in a youngster now’.

“I’ll set the trend for you like I did in all tournaments around the world. Fingers crossed, we’ll see what happens.”

The ECB is keen to attract more women and families to its grounds when the new format launches and it remains to be seen whether Gayle would be an attractive option, given the controversial end to his time in Australia’s Big Bash.

He has not featured in that tournament since being dropped by Melbourne Renegades following a pitch-side interview with Mel McLaughlin, during which he told her “don’t blush baby”.

- Press Association

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