Chris Gayle’s glittering West Indies career appears to be over after loss to Australia in T20 World Cup | Cricket News

Universe Boss indicated that his international career was over when saluting the crowd in Abu Dhabi; Gayle has scored 19,593 runs for West Indies in international cricket, including two Test match triple hundreds; Jamaican has record for most sixes and runs in all T20s

Last Updated: 06/11/21 2:37pm

Chris Gayle's West Indies career appears to have drawn to a close following the T20 World Cup

Chris Gayle’s West Indies career appears to have drawn to a close following the T20 World Cup

Chris Gayle’s international retirement is yet to be confirmed – but it looks like he is done in West Indies colours.

As he strolled off the field in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, having dragged Pat Cummins onto his stumps for 15, the Universe Boss smiled, saluted the crowd and shared an embrace with the definitely-retiring Dwayne Bravo.

It seemed like the end for Gayle and if it is, what a player he has been for West Indies.

The Jamaican has notched 1,899 runs for the Caribbean side in T20 international cricket, with two centuries, 14 fifties and 124 sixes – the final two of those maximums coming against Australia as he flogged Josh Hazlewood and then Cummins into the stands – across his 79 games.

Gayle walks off after striking a nine-ball 15 against Australia

Gayle walks off after striking a nine-ball 15 against Australia

Gayle has made T20 cricket his niche of late, principally in domestic leagues where he has had more clubs than Jack Nicklaus, with no other player coming close to his tally of over 14,321 runs, 1,045 sixes and 22 centuries.

The 42-year-old also holds the record for the fastest T20 century (30 balls) and highest individual score (175 not out from 66 balls), which were both set while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Pune Warriors in an Indian Premier League fixture in April 2013.

In that boisterous knock, Gayle plundered 13 fours and 17 sixes, with his tally of maximums a record for a T20 innings – until he beat that by blasting 18 during a 69-ball 146 not out for Rangpur Riders in the Bangladesh Premier League in December 2017. Mr T20, indeed.

But we should not forget his success in longer-form cricket either, of which there was plenty.

This is a man with two Test match triple hundreds, in the Caribbean against South Africa in 2005 and on the subcontinent in Sri Lanka in 2010, with those fine innings coming in a Test career in which he scored 15 centuries and 37 fifties at an average just over 42.

Gayle is also one of 21 men to play over 300 one-day internationals, one of 14 to score over 10,000 runs in the format, and one of six to score a double hundred, a feat he achieved when he smoked 215 against Zimbabwe in Canberra during the 2015 World Cup.

His international 50-over career included 25 hundreds and 54 fifties, 1,128 fours and 331 sixes, and plenty of entertainment for spectators.

Internationally, it has been nothing but T20 for Gayle recently, with the left-hander playing his last ODI in 2019 and his final Test way back in 2014.

There is nothing to suggest that Gayle will be turning his back on domestic T20 just yet, despite the fact he will turn 43 next year.

There are still things for him to achieve, perhaps even a maiden IPL title if he is retained by Punjab Kings or snapped up by one of the other nine franchises, with the tournament expanding to 10 teams from 2022.

Not only would a team be getting a destructive batter – albeit not as destructive as he was in his pomp – but someone who can send down some off-spin if required.

Gayle dismissed Mitchell Marsh late in Australia’s successful run chase on Saturday, with a beaming smile etched across his face once Jason Holder took the catch at mid-off.

A few minutes later, after David Warner clinched Australia’s victory, Gayle and Bravo were given a guard of honour by their opponents, a further hint that Gayle’s international career is over.

He has looked a fading force in the World Cup, much like an ageing West Indies team in truth, with a top-score of 15 in five innings, an average of nine and a strike-rate of 91.83.

But he has been one hell of a force throughout the last 21 years of international cricket.

Happy retirement, Chris, if that is indeed what you have planned…

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