Chris Gayle appointed West Indies vice-captain for World Cup
Chris Gayle received a pleasant parting gift from the West Indies Board. (Getty Images)

Chris Gayle, from whom the 2019 World Cup marks his international swansong, has been named vice-captain of the West Indies ahead of the biggest 50-over tournament starting in England form May 30. Gayle will be taking over from Shai Hope – appointed vice-captain for the current tri-series featuring Ireland and Bangladesh – as the deputy to Jason Holder.

“It is always an honour to represent the West Indies in any format and this World Cup for me is special,” Gayle said after the announcement. “As a senior player it is my responsibility to support the captain and everyone else in the team. This will probably be the biggest World Cup, so there will be great expectations and I know we will do very well for the people of the West Indies.”

Gayle, 39, is West Indies’ second most successful ODI batsman after Brian Lara with 10,096 runs in 286 games. He has said that he will retire after the World Cup, which will be his fifth tournament. His only ODI double-century came during the 2015 World Cup, against Zimbabwe, a stroke-filled 215 off 147 balls. (ALSO READ: Cricketers for whom this is the last World Cup)

Gayle has this year made 424 runs in four ODI innings, at an average of 106 and strike-rate of 134.17 but is currently not part of the tri-series taking place in Ireland.

Hope, who on Sunday, put on a record opening-wicket partnership with John Campbell to knock the stuffing out of Ireland, said he was honoured to be appointed vice-captain of the side for the tournament and added he was content with whatever was asked of him to do. (ALSO READ: All 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup squads: Full list of each country’s 15-man team)

“It’s a tremendous honour to be appointed vice-captain for this series here in Ireland,” Hope said. “Ahead of this tournament I was asked to take on this role and I was happy to accept. Anything I’m asked to do for West Indies cricket I’m always happy and willing to put my hand up, so this is great.”

West Indies open their World Cup campaign against Pakistan in Nottingham on May 31 after playing two warm-ups against South Africa and New Zealand.