West Indies opening batsman Chris Gayle has confirmed that he will retire from One-day Internationals (ODIs) after the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 to be held in England and Wales.
The 39-year-old, who is second on the list of Windies’ leading ODI run-scorers behind Brian Lara, has been recalled to the ODI side for the first two matches of the five-game series against England, starting on February 20.
Gayle has played 284 ODIs since his debut in 1999 and is now just 677 runs away from becoming the Windies’ all-time highest ODI scorer, with Lara’s total standing at 10,405.
“In 50-over cricket, definitely the World Cup (is the end),” Gayle said ahead of the first ODI at Kensington Oval.
“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.”
When asked if he was confident of marking his ODI swansong as a World Cup winner, Gayle 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.”
The ‘Universe Boss’ also expressed his interest in playing in the ECB’s Hundred tournament, which will start in 2020.
“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.”
Gayle was part of the Windies’ T20 World Cup winning side in 2012 and 2016.
Windies will feature in an ODI tri-series with Ireland and Bangladesh in May before they face Pakistan in their opening World Cup match on May 31.