West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, has revealed that Chris Gayle will be entrusted with specific roles for the West Indies once the ICC T20 World Cup begins later this month.
Gayle, 42, was a controversial pick by the West Indies selectors with detractors citing his prolonged poor form and age as factors why he should not have been selected.
However, the head coach said Gayle’s experience and leadership were intrinsic factors that made him an asset for the Caribbean side looking to win their third T20 world title on the trot, having won in 2012 and 2016.
During a media session from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Monday, Simmons indicated that more will be asked of the ‘Universe Boss’ in his final World Cup campaign.
“We have specific roles we have put on Chris and we trust that he is going to be ready and in-form, and having had a short rest from the game and from the bubble, he is going to come back fresh and ready to do what we ask him to do,” Simmons said of Gayle, who left the IPL bubble last month citing bubble fatigue and the need to refresh himself for the world cup.
“Over the last few months, I have been a part of the CWI bubble, CPL bubble followed by the IPL bubble, and I wish to mentally recharge and refresh myself,” Gayle said in a statement last month. “I want to refocus on helping the West Indies in the T20 World Cup and would like to take a break in Dubai. My thanks to the Punjab Kings for giving me the time off. My wishes and hopes are with the squad always. All the very best for the games coming up.”
Over the past weekend, Gayle posted pictures on Instagram of him enjoying his time off, refreshing himself before returning to action in the world cup.
Gayle had a lukewarm turnout for the Punjab Kings in the 2021 IPL. In 10 matches, the Jamaican star scored 193 runs at an average of 21.85 and strike rate of 125.32. His best score for the Kings was 46.