Holder wants Gayle in WCup team

The Star (Jamaica) - - SPORTS THE WEEKEND STAR -

Once he is phys­i­cally fit and will­ing, West Indies’ skip­per Ja­son Holder wants Chris Gayle in the re­gional squad for next year’s World Cup.

Holder made the dec­la­ra­tion, de­spite Gayle not be­ing a cen­trally con­tracted West Indies crick­eter, and his de­ci­sion to opt out of the Windies’ cur­rent tour of In­dia to play in the Afghanistan Pre­mier League.

The 2019 Cricket World Cup is sched­uled to be hosted by Eng­land and Wales, from May 30 to July 14, 2019.

The 39-year-old pow­er­ful open­ing bats­man signed off his List A ca­reer for Ja­maica with a cen­tury against Bar­ba­dos last week and will now play for Balkh Le­gends in APL.

“He (Gayle) is def­i­nitely go­ing to play the World Cup once his body holds up and he’s fit. We’d wel­come him into the team. If you go back to the be­gin­ning of the year, Chris made him­self avail­able for the World Cup qual­i­fiers. He only did that re­ally be­cause he wants to play the World Cup,” Holder said.

OB­JEC­TIVE

“Guys like him, Mar­lon Sa­muels, who re­ally made them­selves avail­able on that in­stance (ICC Qual­i­fiers), credit must go to them and not only them, to each and ev­ery in­di­vid­ual who has come up to rep­re­sent West Indies. They knew the sig­nif­i­cance and im­por­tance of that tour­na­ment; we played against teams we prob­a­bly weren’t ac­cus­tomed to play­ing against. It was dif­fi­cult, but as the se­ries went on, we ral­lied well and we achieved the ob­jec­tive.”

How­ever, Holder went on the de­fen­sive when asked about Gayle’s choice of club over coun­try.

He said Gayle’s ex­ploits in in­ter­na­tional cricket had made him a house­hold name in T20 leagues.

“When he does that - he has plenty of op­tions around the world to make money - it says some­thing about the in­di­vid­ual, says some­thing about what he wants and I re­ally ad­mire that. He was ob­vi­ously a piv­otal part in us qual­i­fy­ing to the World Cup,” Holder said.

West Indies cap­tain Ja­son Holder.

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