Gayle wants to be a World Cup hero

Colombo, Sri Lanka – Chris Gayle on Thursday announced that his ultimate goal is to get his hands on the World Cup trophy.

The big left-hander, rated as one of the most destructive batsmen of all time, said he has a desire to become a world champion and bring back glory to West Indies cricket during the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup.

“I’m looking forward to the tournament and the dream is to see the West Indies come out on top. The World Cup is the pinnacle of a player’s career and it is good to be part of the tournament here in the sub-continent. It can’t get any bigger than this. The West Indies have a legacy of winning and I want to give my best to win matches for us,” Gayle told reporters during the team’s open media session.

“Whenever I cross that boundary rope I won’t leave anything on the field. I’m going to give it my all, give it my best shot. I am looking to try and dominate the World Cup. I am sure we have the team to get the job done for the people of the Caribbean. We have the fire power – the bowling combinations are good, and we have good allrounders and quality in our batting. I am here now and I will be trying to make the most of it and win one for the fans.”

He announced: “This is my third World Cup. I played in South Africa in 2003 and in the Caribbean four years ago. I don’t know what the future holds and I don’t want to sit back and wait for the next World Cup in four years time. I am going to treat this like my final World Cup.”

In his career the 31-year-old Gayle has played 223 One-Day Internationals. He is close to 8,000 career runs, having made 7,917 at an average of 39 per innings. He has scored 19 centuries – equal with Brian Lara for the most by a West Indian.

Looking ahead to the next six weeks Gayle noted: “It will be one game at a time but in the back of our minds we are looking at the quarter-finals and then take it from there. We will look to build strength from the early stages and develop as we move along. It won’t be an easy task but it has to be done and we as players have to do it.

“The pitches in Asia are usual good to bat on. Most teams are playing a lot of T20 cricket nowadays so guys are learning much better how to execute – especially in the powerplay overs. Ultimately we will have to just wait and see what happens, and as I said before, the team which does the better job on the day will win.”

SQUAD: Darren Sammy (captain), Dwayne Bravo (Vice Captain), Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh, Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Shiv Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle, Nikita Miller, Kieron Pollard, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Devon Smith

WORLD CUP SCHEDULE
Warm-up matches
Saturday, Feb 12: v Kenya (R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo)
Tuesday, Feb 15: v Sri Lanka (R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo)
Group stage matches
Thursday, Feb 24: v South Africa (Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi)
Monday, Feb 28: v Netherlands (Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi)
Friday, Mar 4: v Bangladesh (Shere Bangla Stadium, Dhaka)
Friday, Mar 11: v Ireland (Punjab C.A. Stadium, Mohali)
Thursday, Mar 17: v England (MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai)
Sunday, Mar 20: v India (MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai)

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