Want to Carry on Playing Franchise Cricket Until I’m 45: Chris Gayle
Gayle’s hopeful of making a comeback into the West Indies side to play the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year. © Twitter

West Indies opener Chris Gayle has set a target for himself following which he will hang up his boots. Gayle, currently plying his trade in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL 2019-20) for Chattogram Challengers, said that he still retains the same passion despite playing at the top level for 20 years.

“A lot of people still want to see Chris Gayle out in the middle. I still have that love for the game and that passion for the game. I would love to carry on as long as possible in T20 and franchise cricket as well,” Gayle was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz on Thursday.

“The body is feeling good and I am sure I am getting younger as the days go so I am looking forward to it. 45 is a good number. Lets’ talk at 45. I think that’s a good number and my first number. I just think I am on the slow side a bit. You know, plan my life ahead. It’s been 20 years of international cricket and 20 years of cricket in general. So there is always life after cricket and this is the time where you can put some plans in place as well. Play a bit of cricket as well. It won’t be like back then where you play in all the tournaments and play all the games in those tournaments as well. So you have to monitor it as you go on.”

Gayle’s hopeful of making a comeback into the West Indies side to play the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year. He has challenged the next generation of young cricketers to make a mark. “It would be nice (to play in the next T20 World Cup),” he said.

“Like I said the door is open for a chance. Let’s see what happens. We have some bright youngsters ahead as well. I have left the option open to hear back to my family as well and see where the universe boss is going in whichever way. There won’t be any Chris Gayle or any Universe Boss. There will always be one and there won’t be another one like me,” said Gayle.

“In order to get your status, you have to go around the globe, you have to build your name, perform in all kinds of conditions and I’ve done my fare bit as well. I’ve nothing to prove and you know where I stand in my cricketing career as well,” he said.

“So just for them to follow in that footstep as well. Most of them don’t get the opportunity for their international cricket career as well. So a lot of them don’t get a chance as well to play around the world as most play international cricket.”

He admitted that he has been taking things lightly after his heart surgery in Australia.

“Like I said in my book, when I did the heart surgery in Australia and it was the first time I ever did a surgery. When I woke up, I decided to live life to my fullest and I never looked back since then doesn’t matter what were the circumstances and what was happening around. I always try to make the most of it as their always hear a good time and a long time,” he observed.

“That’s (coaching) not my plan to be honest. Coaching role is not in my plan. But like I said you can never say never. Living a life in a suitcase, you always want to experience something different as well. Even after cricket, I think I will still do some travelling. I want to see some places I have never been before. I have a family as well, so I want to spend much time with them. It’s a situation you want to sit back and reflect on what you want to do after cricket.”

The 40-year-old also voiced out his discontent at the prospect of four-day Test cricket. “I am not a fan of that,” Gayle said.

“I played 100 Tests, I mean a few finished in three days, a few in four but five days Test cricket is the ultimate and to have a four-day Test…I am not a big fan of that. It has set the trend and it’s been there for ages so why go and mess with that. If they give other players a chance to experience that because it can be a life changing experience to play five-day cricket. It is a mental state so that you can cope in life as well.”