Monday, 30th October 2017

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Chris Gayle: Am still Universe Boss

Looking forward to the World Cup, Gayle expressed his strong desire to win the title for the first time

By Our Bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 19.02.19, 4:11 AM
  • Updated 19.02.19, 4:11 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Still having gas left in the tank, Chris Gayle was stepping away to see the next generation of West Indies players taking over Telegraph picture

Chris Gayle, who announced he would retire from ODI cricket after the ICC World Cup this year, asserted that he would always be the ‘Universe Boss’.

Still having gas left in the tank, the explosive West Indies opener was stepping away to see the next generation of West Indies players taking over, he said.

“You’re looking at a great man… I’m the greatest player in the world... Of course I’m still the ‘Universe Boss’. That will never change.

“I’ll take that to the grave,” Gayle was quoted as saying by the ICC website on Monday.

He also remains ever confident and sounded a warning to England’s opening bowlers ahead of the ODIs.

“I’m in good condition. The body is feeling good and I’m pleased with that.

“I’ve lost a bit of weight and I don’t want to get too big. I’m still working on my six-pack.

“I’m trying to keep up with the youngsters on the field who are like cats, the way they chase the ball. I still have it in me and I’m still enjoying it.

“I don’t know who is opening the bowling for England, but I would like to tell any bowler, ‘Beware of Chris Gayle.’

“That doesn’t change just because he is 39 now. They are going to be saying, ‘Yes, he’s got some grey hair in his beard, let’s get him now, this is the perfect time to get the Universe Boss now that he is 39.’ But I will be ready,” Gayle beamed.

It could also be Gayle’s final ODI series in the Caribbean, so the big man is keen to put on a show.

The venue for the first ODI, the Kensington Oval in Barbados, is where Gayle played his most recent List A game, which was his farewell match for Jamaica against Barbados.

Gayle had scored a brisk century then and hopes to draw on that confidence.

“This series against England might be the last time people get to see the ‘Universe Boss’ on local soil.

“The last game I played in Barbados for Jamaica, I got a hundred and it would be nice to continue from where I left off and entertain the home fans as much as possible.

“At the end of the day, everybody should be happy and enjoy the game.”

Looking forward to the World Cup, Gayle expressed his strong desire to win the title for a first time and urged the youngsters in the team to do it for him.

“Winning the World Cup would be a fairy-tale finish,” he said. “The youngsters owe it to me to win. They have to do that for me and try and get me the trophy.

“I’ll be looking to put my input in as well.”

Watching West Indies beat England in the recent Test series was "one of the greatest things to happen in 10 years", according to Gayle.

“It was a great Test series. It was fantastic to watch from the sidelines and I think it was one of the greatest things to happen in 10 years.

“I was the captain for the last home series win against England (in 2009) and to see Jason Holder lifting that trophy 10 years later was fantastic, so hopefully, as a unit, we can get the better of England again in the ODI series," he said.