SYDNEY – West Indies opening batsman Chris Gayle says he has three more goals before he calls curtains on his international career, and one of them is to conquer Australia in the Test arena on their home turf.
Gayle is currently in Australia where he is playing for the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash.
“That would be a big accomplishment. Those things only happened in 1980s when the West Indies came here and won.
“It’s always difficult to win overseas, wherever you play. Teams like South Africa, England, Australia, India, they’re always challenging. That would rank high in my cricket career, to win a series in one of those places – to win in Australia would be really nice,” he said.
West Indies last won a Test series in Australia in 1993 under the captaincy of Richie Richardson, the current team manager. However Gayle’s opportunity to achieve a possible Test series win on Australian soil might depend on Father Time and his durability. He is currently 33 and the West Indies do not visit Australia for a Test series until the end of 2015 when he will be 36.
The big Jamaican also noted that he would like to improve on both his Test century tally and career average for the West Indies.
“I’ve got 14 Test hundreds at the moment, and I’d like to finish with 20 Test hundreds.
“And if I can finish with an average of 45, that’s pretty decent for an opener,” he said.
In the meantime, Gayle said he was determined to help move the Sydney Thunder off the bottom of the Big Bash League ladder, starting tonight against Adelaide at the ANZ Stadium.
To prove how serious he was about helping the Thunder, Gayle took it upon himself to address the players in the ANZ Stadium dressing rooms after their last loss to Marlon Samuel’s Melbourne Renegades. He wanted his young teammates to back their ability and pointed out one win could change their summer.
“We’ve had a bad start, we’ve lost two games so this is a must-win for us, that’s how I view it,” Gayle said. “We need to try and get back in the groove and give ourselves that chance to make the final four.”
As for how the BBL stacked up against the almighty Indian Premier League, Gayle said: “It’s up there, second to the IPL. Even though you don’t have all the Australian superstars or more senior guys playing, the standard is still very high, and it’s a good quality surface to bat on.
“It could be bigger. But the IPL pump a lot of money into (their tournament), and everyone gets the chance to play in it. The window is very different compared to the Australian summer. This is the time they (Australia) play international cricket. We understand that, but the standard is still very high and competitive.”
Teammate Sean Abbott said the players took Gayle’s pep talk on board.
“He definitely wants to be here and definitely wants this team to do well,” Abbott said.
“He’s so relaxed and good to have around the group – he relaxes when he needs to, and turns on when he needs to.”††