It has been almost 30 months since Chris Gayle last featured for West Indies in an ODI match. On Tuesday though, the 37-year-old will take the field at Old Trafford in Manchester in the first of the five-match ODI series against England.
Recalled to the 50-over setup for the first time since the ICC World Cup 2015, Gayle has already demonstrated to the hosts just about how dangerous he can still be with bat.
The Jamaican became the first man in the history of T20I cricket to hit a century of sixes in the format after he smacked four towering sixes in his rapid innings of 41 against England in the sole T20I between the two sides at Chester-le-street on Saturday.
As the Kingston-born man gets ready to make his ODI comeback, we take a look at three of his greatest 50-over innings in a career spanning 269 matches.
Gayle had struggled for form heading into the 2015 ICC World Cup with no century to his name in the 20 months prior to the tournament.
The Jamaican put on a batting display for the ages as minnows Zimbabwe bore the brunt of his ferocious hitting. Gayle became the first man to hit a double-century in the history of the World Cup as he bettered Gary Kirsten’s 188 against the UAE in 1996.
The left-hander put on a 372-run partnership for the second wicket with Marlon Samuels, a world-record stand for any wicket.
In total Gayle hit 16 sixes in his innings for his 215 in just 147 deliveries before being dismissed in the last-ball of the West Indies innings.
They would go on to win the match by 73 runs in the end while Gayle entered the record books.
The defending champions of 2004, West Indies were looking to book their spot in their second consecutive Champions Trophy final, but before doing that they had to face the Proteas in the penultimate hurdle.
The South Africans won the toss and decided to bat first, putting up a score of 258 in their 50 overs.
The pressure of a huge semi-final notwithstanding, Gayle was in the zone from the very first delivery as he wrested the initiative for West Indies.
Gayle was unperturbed as his side suffered a mini collapse towards the end of the chase as the left-hander remained unbeaten to guide his team through to the final courtesy a six-wicket victory.
In the end, the Jamaican hit three sixes and 17 boundaries in his 135-ball 133 which saw him named the Man of the Match.
The left-hander has fond memories of England where he produced one of the most mature displays of his long and distinguished career at the Lord’s cricket ground.
With New Zealand having already confirmed its spot in the finals, the pressure was on West Indies and the hosts in the final group-game in the 2004 Natwest Tri-series in a winner-takes-all scenario.
Centuries from Andrew Strauss and Andrew Flintoff helped England set a stiff target of 286 for the men from the Caribbean.
After losing Dwayne Smith early, Gayle put on a 187-run stand with Ramnaresh Sarwan to put the Windies in the ascendancy.
Even though Sarwan and Brian Lara departed in quick succession, Gayle turned in an uncustomary display as he bid his time at the crease in watchful fashion to take his side home.
The Kingston man faced 165 deliveries for his unbeaten 132 as West Indies chased down England’s total with seven wickets to spare in the final over of their innings.
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West Indies captain Jason Holder has backed the returning Chris Gayle to make a big impact in the one-day international series against England starting this week.
Tuesday’s fixture at Old Trafford, the first of a five-match ODI series, is set to be powerhouse opening batsman Gayle’s first at this level since the 2015 World Cup – where he made the first double century in the competition’s history, smashing a blistering 215 against Zimbabwe in Canberra.
A protracted dispute with cricket West Indies chiefs kept the 37-year-old Jamaica left-hander on the sidelines of the international game for more than two years.
But he returned to Twenty20 international action on his home ground of Sabina Park, Kingston, in July.
And he showed he had lost none of his ability to score rapidly with a blazing 40 off 21 balls as World Twenty20 champions West Indies beat England by 21 runs in the lone Twenty20 of their tour at Chester-le-Street on Saturday.
Gayle has scored more than 9,000 runs, including 22 hundreds, in 269 ODIs at a strike rate of 85.11.
Holder welcomed his impending return to the ODI format by telling reporters at Old Trafford on Monday: “It’s obviously a huge boost. The calibre of player Chris is, you can expect really good things from him.”
“He showed some form in the T20 game and had some good form in our CPL (Caribbean Premier League) competition recently concluded,” the all-rounder added.
“I’m really looking forward to having him back. He seems up for the challenge, he seems upbeat and really happy to be back. I’m looking forward to good things from Chris.”
Holder, not in the Twenty20 squad after leading West Indies in a 2-1 Test series loss to England earlier in the tour, said his side could take some confidence from a win at Chester-le-Street, where they overcame cold and wet conditions to record a convincing victory over England in a repeat of last year’s World Twenty20 final in Kolkata.
“That (Saturday’s) result should give is a bit of momentum, albeit a T20 game,” said Holder.
“We are professional athletes, we know what to expect here in English conditions. A few of the guys have played here before, a few played the T20 game coming into this one.”
The Barbados all-rounder added: “From all reports it was difficult in Durham with the wet outfield but it’s something we’ve grown to expect and you’ve just got to adapt and adjust to it.”
West Indies will need to win the upcoming series either 5-0 or 4-0 with a tie or a no-result if they are to gain direct entry into the 2019 World Cup in England.
A failure to do so would mean West Indies, the 1975 and 1979 World Cup winners, cannot overtake Sri Lanka, currently eighth in the ODI rankings.
Only the top seven sides, apart from hosts England, currently fourth, as of September 30 will qualify directly for the 50-over showpiece event in 2019.
Teams that do not gain direct entry will get another shot through a qualifying tournament.
“The guys are up for the challenge. We’ve obviously got some new faces coming back into the side and it’s exciting times for our cricket,” said Holder.
“We are still at a stage where we are looking to rebuild and hopefully these guys coming back can bring a lot of experience and expertise to what we are doing.”
— CricketWestIndies (@westindies) September 18, 2017
Provided by AFP Sport
Former New Zealand pacer Shane Bond has said that he is ready to take up the role of a head coach.
Bond has been involved with coaching for the past seven years which has seen him take up the bowling coach roles with the New Zealand cricket team, Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Mumbai Indians and Big Bash League (BBL) outfit Brisbane Heat.
The 42-year-old has recently been given charge of the New Zealand A team who will fly out to India on Tuesday.
Bond has been handed a short-term contract with the side which will play two four-day games and five ODIs during their tour of the country.
“I think it’s time and I’m ready to go into a head coach role having been an assistant coach for seven years now,” Bond said in an interview with One News Now.
“I think you always like to sometimes put your own stamp on things and I think the only way to know if you really want to do the role is actually get in and do it,” he added.
The Christchurch-born man believes that a move from bowling coach to head coach would be the next logical step in his personal development and he is keen to take up that challenge.
“I love being a bowling coach but I think it gives a different perspective in terms of my own personal development, it’s a new challenge and I think it will be good for me,” he said.
“I’ve got really clear ideas about how I want to run things over there with a really good team behind me and we will just reflect on it at the end of the series.”
The New Zealand A side will take on their Indian counterparts in the first four-day game at Vijaywada starting this Saturday.
While a head coach now seems to be Bond’s aim, there have been murmurs about the former Blackcaps pacer being in line for the England bowling coach role on a short-term deal for the upcoming Ashes series Down Under.
England are without a bowling coach at the moment following Ottis Gibson’s resignation in the summer to take up the head coach role at South Africa.
Widen Cricketers’ Almanack editor Lawrence Booth had said in a report that England were set to confirm the Kiwi for the job after he was named their preferred candidate last week.
The report had mentioned that Bond would join up the England squad for the first three Tests only to enable him to fulfill his contract with Brisbane Heat for the BBL which starts on December 19.
Whether Bond will take up the role remains to be seen but for now the Kiwi stalwart has set his eyes on being a head coach.