Dubai: Former West Indian opener Chris Gayle, known for his big-hitting skills, feels that a score of 500 in a One-Day International is a possibility.
“500 runs in an innings in ODI is possible. The boundaries are made a bit smaller for more excitement and entertainment, so you see a lot of sixes being hit. The wickets are a bit better to bat, so it’s a bit harsh on the bowlers and it has become one-sided game sometimes,” Gayle, who was in Dubai recently to be part of the BITS Pilani sports day celebrations, told Gulf News.
“The game is up to fast pace now and every youngster is developing their own skills as well to be productive in the game, which is good to see.”
This year is probably one of the worst years in West Indian cricket after failing to qualify for the 50-over World Cup in India for the first time in the history of the showpiece event. The Caribbean islanders had won the first two editions, but for the 13th edition they failed to qualify, losing to the Netherlands in the Super Over in the qualifiers in June this year.
Talking about West Indies’ absence, the left-hander felt sad but sees positive in the two-time world champions’ performance against 2019 world champions England.
The hosts West Indies won the ODI series 2-1 and the five-match Twenty20 series 3-2 to bring cheers back on the Caribbean fans.
Dubai's rapid growth
“Like any other West Indian fan, I was disappointed not see the team in World Cup for the first time. But it’s good to see them actually rebound against England,” said the 44-year-old. “The good thing about it is we have the next Twenty20 World Cup, which is going to be held in the Caribbean islands and the USA. So they have a lot to play for and winning it for Caribbean people after missing out on the World Cup in India. Hopefully, they can build up some momentum leading up to the World Cup next year to give us something to cheer about.”
Gayle, dubbed as the Universe Boss, has been a visitor to Dubai for the last 20 years for professional and holiday reasons. The left-hander heaped praise on the growth the emirate has seen over the last two decades. He also felt that is nothing wrong in players playing in franchise leagues.
“There is no problem and you can’t be too hard on any particular player, because the entire cricket world is a business now. It’s not like what it used to be like 10-15 years ago where it was more international. Cricket as a game has actually changed and started to revolve around T20. So the player has all rights to make his own decision that is best for them. So I will back any player 100 per cent because it’s business, not just in cricket but it is the case with all sports,” he added.
Records are made to be broken
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma surpassed Chris Gayle’s record of 49 sixes in a World Cup and also the West Indian’s record of 26 sixes in a single edition achieved in 2015.
“Before I got the record, someone else did before me. So records are made to be broken and it is good to see these things happening in cricket so that next generation can come and look to break Rohit Sharma’s record,” Gayle added.
Talking about his career, Gayle, who has given nightmares to many bowlers with his big-hitting skills, felt even he went through the ups and downs, which is common to every batter in the history of the sport. “As a batter, you’re always going to go through a rough patch. I’ve ever seen the best in the world go through those phases as well and I had many of those phases in my international career as well. As a person it made me stronger and I was able to play international cricket for 20 years which is fantastic, but nothing is going to be a smooth road,” Gayle said, and spoke about how former West Indian skipper Brian Lara played a big role in his career.
“We were in Sri Lanka and it was second Test series after making my debut against Zimbabwe where I scored my first century as well. In Sri Lanka, I was dismissed like five times by Chaminda Vaas in a Test series with the highest score of 40 something runs and I finished the entire three-Test series with a total score of 50 runs. Lara came and told me that a lot of big players come to Sri Lanka and didn’t score any runs. It’s a learning curve for you. So quickly I learned the situation and made those necessary changes and went on to score a hundred in a ODI,” Gayle concluded.