Sunday, 5 December 2021

Gayle return ‘huge boost’ for West Indies

Chris Gayle

MANCHESTER: 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.”

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