If you think we want an answer to the question in the title, hold your horses. That was a rhetoric question. I don’t think any cricketing fan across the universe would want to see the this man retire. Of course, he is the ‘Universe Boss‘ and there aren’t many characters like him across the world. A mean machine, who was recently firing on all cylinders in the ODI series against England.
In the 4th ODI, England set Windies a target of 419 which is an almost impossible target to chase down in cricket, regardless of the format. However, it was Christopher Henry Gayle’s antics that took them ever so close, and fans all over would’ve switched off their TV sets when they watched his bails being knocked over by Ben Stokes for the highest best score of his ODI career, 162.
500 sixes in international cricket is what he achieved that day. Not only did he go past Shahid Afridi earlier in the series, but he also became the first to 500 career sixes and ended the series at at even higher number – 515! He celebrated this milestone with his helmet launched into the sky on his bat, and why not? There haven’t been many more glorified cricketing careers than his own.
Power, style, entertainment, skill, destruction. Name it and Gayle fits the ball. Whether playing for Windies or the IPL or BBL or BPL or PSL or any other league across the world. This recent ODI series saw the big man make a comeback and there was absolute box office stuff on display.
Sadly however, he announced his retirement last month, letting the world know that the 2019 ICC World Cup would be his last for the West Indies. If writing an autobiography, this seems to be the perfect final few chapters. Out of the team for so long due to issues with the board, makes a comeback, announces retirement. He knew he was ready, and ready he was.
135, 50, 162, 77. These have been Gayle’s scores in his last four outings against England. He was awarded the Player of the Series award as well, and there hasn’t ever been a more deserving candidate. I’ve seen a 28-year old, 30-year old and 32-year old Gayle and not many times has he returned with four consecutive 50+ scores in ODI cricket through his illustrious career that has lasted two long decades.
424 runs 💪
39 sixes 😱
2 centuries 💯
19-ball fifty 💥
— ICC (@ICC) March 2, 2019
He’s a West Indian icon. A global icon, I must say. Loved throughout the world. And I personally am not able to digest the fact that 3-4 months from today, we won’t ever get to watch the Universe Boss in the maroon Windies jersey ever again. If ending one a high is how he looks at it, then this is the perfect time. However, there seems to be a lot of fire left within him, capable of continuing for a couple of years, if not more.
The southpaw has played for 20+ franchise teams as well as the ICC World XI. He’s pushing 40 years of age but you can’t ever see it in him, except for a casual limp or two after a few quick runs. However, when you can consistently tonk the Kookaburra into the crowds, why bother making those quick singles anyway?
Regardless, Gayle has ended a bilateral series with a performance better than most he has given over the years. Talking about himself getting on with age and reconsidering his decision to retire, Gayle said, “What’s the matter with the body? I’m nearly 40. But could I un-retire? We’ll see. We’ll take it slowly.”
He’s enjoying his moment in the sun right now, and one can only hope that he continues this form into the World Cup. I mean, it has really been a long, long while since Windies last lifted that ICC 50-over trophy. Could 2019 be their year? Can Gayle get the perfect sendoff? To get answers to all your questions and to follow Gayle’s progress into and at the World Cup, keep following ReadScoops.com.
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