Don’t blush baby: Mel McLaughlin’s interview with Chris Gayle. Photo: Channel TenChris Gayle has boldly declared he intends to play Twenty20 cricket until he’s 50 and claims he is plotting a return to Test cricket in 2018.
The 37-year-old self-proclaimed greatest cricketer of all time hasn’t played a Test match since September of 2014, having chosen the T20 path where he has blasted a record 9777 runs all over the world in the game’s shortest format.
And Gayle says fans can expect at least another decade of hard hitting from the “Universe Boss”, who’s motivation behind playing on until he’s 50 is to allow his nine-month-old daughter the chance to one day watch her dad in action.
“I want to be the first man to play til 50,” Gayle told Fox Sports on Saturday.
“I’d love her to see me play cricket. I want her to just turn up in the stands and watch dad play a game of cricket, I’d love her to actually witness it one day.
“Age is something, it’s a number. It’s about the body, when you’re young you can get away with a lot of things, you definitely do a lot more partying.
“You have to keep in shape and you have to start eating properly as well, now, being older now, you have to do all these things. Freshen up the body and make sure you can actually last longer.”
Gayle’s destructive style is perfectly suited to the brazen world of T20 cricket, but he’s also one of the West Indies’ most successful Test cricketers of all time.
In 103 Tests he’s managed 7214 runs at an average of 42.18, having blasted 15 hundreds, including a pair of triple centuries.
His near two-and-a-half-year absence from the longest form of the game has been partly due to a dispute with the West Indian Cricket Board, but Gayle refuses to retire from Test cricket.
“I will play again,” Gayle said.
“I want to score 400 runs in a Test match. I’ve done two triples, I think I can push it to four [hundred].
“A lot of people want to see me back in Test cricket, a lot of people. That’s one of the reasons why I haven’t announced I’ve retired because wherever I go, people want to see me play Test cricket, to give it one more shout, that’s why I’m holding out.”
Meanwhile, Channel Ten have strongly refuted claims by the former Melbourne Renegade that the television network owes Gayle money from last year’s Big Bash League.
Gayle took to Twitter to vent his displeasure, claiming Ten hadn’t paid him for using a helmet cam during last year’s tournament, but the network denies the claims with a spokesperson saying on Saturday that “Network Ten fulfilled its contractual obligations to Chris Gayle and does not owe him any payments”.
Gayle brandished the helmet camera up until his infamous incident with Mel McLaughlin where he asked the sideline reporter out for a drink on air before saying “Don’t blush baby”.
“You can’t hide away from it, to be honest with you, whenever I walk on the street that’s the first thing they say to me,” Gayle said of the fallout that stemmed from the incident with McLaughlin.
“It’s something you just have to live with, you just have to go to [with] the flow.”
The Renegades fined Gayle $10,000 for his behaviour, while Channel Ten ended the contract he had to use their helmet cam.
Gayle did not return to the Big Bash League in this season, although is believed to have been close to signing on with another club.
He has also hinted at a return to the tournament either next season or beyond.