West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards insists that star batsman Chris Gayle could be allowed to retire on his own terms provided he continues to perform at a high level.
The 39-year-old Windies star was thought to have retired following the third One Day International (ODI) against India last week.
Ahead of the match, talk in some quarters surrounded the batsman’s continued presence on the team, particularly after a poor performance at the ICC World Cup and a combined total of 15 in the two prior games.
The big left-hander, however, gave a stirring response to his critics with a smashing 72 off just 41 deliveries. In addition, Gayle insisted that he had not announced his retirement following the series, creating a conundrum for the selectors in upcoming ODI series. West Indies bowling legend Sir Curtly Ambrose had suggested that Gayle should step aside to allow the team to focus on new talent, with the next World Cup in mind. Sir Viv, however, believes Gayle could still be a valuable contributor to the Windies squad.
“We can agree that one particular thing is that he is not as mobile in the field as when he was younger. But if he can put in those types of performances, that in my opinion would suggest that we can still have him around to add that type of experience,” he added.
“I love to see class, I appreciate class and Chris brings this. If he cannot perform like he did on a consistent basis, well, then we can start thinking other things like whether he should be there or not.” (Sports Max)