West Indies opener Chris Gayle has hinted at playing franchise cricket until the age of 45. Currently in Bangladesh to take part in the ongoing Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League for Chattogram Challengers, Gayle said that he still retains the same passion despite playing at the top level for 20 years.
“A lot of people still want to see Chris Gayle out in the middle. I still have that love for the game and that passion for the game. I would love to carry on as long as possible in T20 and franchise cricket as well. I still play a few games here,” Gayle told reporters at the BCB academy premises.
“The body is feeling good and I am sure I am getting younger as the days go so I am looking forward to it. 45 is a good number. Let’s talk at 45. I think that’s a good number and my first number. I just think I am on the slow side a bit. You know, plan my life ahead. It’s been 20 years of international cricket and 20 years of cricket in general. So there is always life after cricket and this is the time where you can put some plans in place as well. Play a bit of cricket as well. It won’t be like back then where you play in all the tournaments and play all the games in those tournaments as well. So you have to monitor it as you go on.”
Hopeful of coming back into the West Indies side to play the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year, Gayle has challenged the next generation of cricketers to make a mark around the globe like he did in the T20 circuit. “It would be nice (to play in the next T20 World Cup),” he said. “Like I said the door is open for a chance. Let’s see what happens. We have some bright youngsters ahead as well. I have left the option open to hear back to my family as well and see where the universe boss is going in whichever way.
“There won’t be another Chris Gayle or any Universe Boss. There will always be one and there won’t be another one like me. In order to get your status you have to go around the globe, you have to build your name, perform in all kinds of conditions and I’ve done my fare bit as well. I’ve nothing to prove and you know where I stand in my cricketing career as well.
“So just for them to follow in that footstep as well. Most of them don’t get the opportunity for their international cricket career as well. So a lot of them don’t get a chance as well to play around the world as most play international cricket.”
Admitting that he has been taking things light ever since undergoing heart surgery in Australia, Gayle revealed that he was least likely to take up coaching post his playing days. “Like I said in my book, when I did the heart surgery in Australia and it was the first time I ever did a surgery. When I woke up, I decided to live life to my fullest and I never looked back. Since then, doesn’t matter what were the circumstances and what was happening around, I always try to make the most of it,” he observed.
“That’s (coaching) not my plan to be honest. Coaching role is not in my plans. But like I said, you can never say never. Living a life in a suitcase, you always want to experience something different as well. Even after cricket, I think I will still do some travelling. I want to see some places I have never been before. I have a family as well so I want to spend much time with them. It’s a situation you want to sit back and reflect on what you want to do after cricket,” he added.