West Indian Chris Gayle insisted Tuesday he has not turned his back on Test cricket and wants to pull on the whites again for his troubled national team.
The flamboyant Gayle has been portrayed in the media as preferring to take the money and play for Twenty20 franchises than help rescue Caribbean cricket from its current malaise.
But the ex-Windies captain insisted it was injury that sidelined him from the current series against Australia, who won the first Test in Hobart by an innings inside three days on Saturday.
Gayle, who has played 103 Tests, had back surgery earlier this year.
Despite this, the 36-year-old expects to be fit enough to play every Big Bash League game for the Melbourne Renegades this season and was adamant he wanted to play Tests again.
“There’s no way I could have actually been part of that Test team (in Hobart), I’m just coming back off injury,” he told Australian Associated Press.
“I haven’t retired from the game. Next year hopefully Test cricket is on the agenda.”
Gayle’s comments came as criticism mounted about the tourists’ inept performance in Hobart with pace great Michael Holding telling Fairfax Media the West Indies Cricket Board was “dysfunctional, untrustworthy and not liked by the employees”.
Gayle was reluctant to criticise the board, and defended his younger Test team-mates.
“It’s a young team, so we have to definitely give it time rather than be so harsh on West Indies cricket all the time,” he said.
“You have to give us time … it won’t happen overnight.”