Manchester, June 26: Dashing West Indies batsman Chris Gayle will retire from international cricket after the home ODI and Test series against India scheduled in August-September, revising his earlier plan to call it quits after the ongoing World Cup.
Among the high profile players in the last two decades, Gayle will follow the in footsteps of Steve Waugh (2004) and Jacques Kallis (2013), who announced their international retirement after playing against India. It is expected that Gayle will play his final international game, a Test against India, at his home ground Kingston in Jamaica starting August 30.
The 39-year-old had last month stated that he would retire after the World Cup but speaking to the media on the eve of the game against India here, the left-hander said he has had a change of mind. "It's still not the end. I still have a few games to go. May be another series to go, as well. Who knows, we will see what happens," Gayle said when asked about his career which was supposed to end after the World Cup.
When he was asked a specific questions on his plans post World Cup, he did spill the beans. "My plans after World Cup? I may play a Test match against India and then I will definitely play the ODIs against India. I won't play the T20s for sure. That's my plan after the World Cup," Gayle said.
West Indies media manager Philip Spooner later confirmed that the assignment against India will be Gayle's last in national colours. "Yes, Chris will play his last series against India," Spooner told PTI.
It has been learnt that Gayle's participation in the India series was necessary keeping the commercial aspects in mind as it is scheduled right after the World Cup. Also a Test match in Jamaica and good friend and former IPL teammate Virat Kohli in the opposition ranks will be seen as a fitting farewell for cricket's greatest modern day entertainers.
India's tour of West Indies comprises three T20 Internationals, three ODIs followed by a couple of Test matches. There will be two T20 games in Florida on August 3 and 4, followed by a third in Guyana. The three-match ODI will start in Guyana from August 8, followed by a couple of games in Trinidad. The Tests will take place from August 22 to September 3.
Gayle has appeared in 103 Tests, accumulating 7215 runs at an average of 42.19. In 294 ODI appearances, Gayle put together 10345 runs, while in 58 T20 Internationals, he has 1627 runs. He has two triple hundreds in Test matches, a double hundred in ODIs and also has the distinction of scoring the first hundred in a World T20 game.
The man who calls himself the 'Universe Boss' is a fan favourite for his flamboyant stroke-play and is considered a game-changing batsman.