West Indies in England 2009
Gayle wants to give up captaincy
May 13, 2009
Chris Gayle doesn't want to lead West Indies in the long term © Getty Images
Chris Gayle has said that he doesn't want to captain West Indies for much longer because of the pressure the job entailed.
Gayle also said that he "wouldn't be so sad" if Test cricket eventually gave way to the Twenty20 version and hit back at Andrew Strauss, who had criticised the West Indies captain for arriving from the IPL just two days before the start of the Lord's Test, asking the England captain to "stay out of [other] people's business".
"To be honest with you there's a possibility I might give it [captaincy] up - I will be giving it up shortly," Gayle told the Guardian. "It's definitely not something I'm looking to hang on to. I need some time for myself, to be honest with you, it's a lot of travelling. There's always something you have to go and do, you know, extra. Lunch or dinner, some other thing, there's always something for the captain. I'm not that type of person. I can't take on too much. So soon I will be handing over this captaincy. I [will] soon finish with it."
Gayle, who took over the captaincy from Ramnaresh Sarwan in 2007, said he was looking for potential successors. "We're still looking at quite a few," he said. "So we just have to wait and see when the selectors decide - or whosoever decides. Then I'm ready. The chairman pointed out to me they want me to actually be the captain for right now. We have to see how it goes. I said, 'Don't be too long, though'."
Gayle took over the captaincy in the absence of Sarwan who was injured for the ODI series against England in 2007. The West Indies board initially rejected the selectors' move to appoint Gayle before reversing its decision. Gayle was then preferred as captain over Sarwan for the 2007-08 tour of South Africa. He resigned at a West Indies directors' meeting last July following the home series against Australia due to disagreements over selection but was persuaded to stay on by WICB president Julian Hunte.
Gayle was the subject of much criticism for extending his IPL stint with the Kolkata Knight Riders and joining his West Indies team-mates only 48 hours before the first Test at Lord's, a match which they lost inside three days. Strauss had said that "we wouldn't want our players to arrive two days before" a Test. He added that it was important for Test cricket to get the attention it deserved and that it shouldn't be devalued in "any way, shape or form".
Gayle, however, responded to Strauss's comments by saying that the matter "doesn't concern him". "Focus on his team, don't worry about West Indies, don't worry about me. Tell him don't sleep with Chris on his mind, tell him get Chris off his mind," Gayle said.
While Gayle said he wouldn't be worried if the primacy of Test cricket were to be reduced, he said Strauss ought to be because the England captain may not be able to adapt to the shorter format. Strauss, who is England's Test and ODI captain, isn't part of the squad for the World Twenty20 in June.
"I wouldn't be so sad [about the demise of Test cricket]," Gayle said. "Some other players would be. Maybe Andrew Strauss would be sad. Maybe he will be sad if Test cricket dies and Twenty20 comes in. Because there is no way he can make the change. So tough luck. I like Twenty20. Who doesn't? Maybe a couple of the Englishmen wouldn't like to play Twenty20."
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