West Indies opening batsman Chris Gayle will retire from one-day internationals (ODI) after taking part in this year’s World Cup, Cricket West Indies said on Sunday.
The 39-year left-hander has scored 23 centuries and 9,727 runs in the 50-over format — second only to Brian Lara among West Indians — since making his debut against India in 1999.
“I’m looking to draw the line – or should I say cut the string – let the youngsters have some fun and I can sit back in the party stand,” Gayle, who is hoping that his team triumph in the May 30-July 14 tournament in England and Wales, told reporters.
“It is a big year for me. I hope 2019 can finish for me on a great note.
He was West Indies’ highest run scorer in the 2015 World Cup, making 340 runs at an average of 56.66. In the same tournament, he also became the first male cricketer to score a World Cup double century, which he achieved against Zimbabwe.
Gayle has not played for West Indies since he scored 73 in an 18-run ODI defeat by Bangladesh last July and opted out of the tour to India and Bangladesh in October and November.
Gayle was recalled to the West Indies ODI squad for the first two games of this month’s five-match series against England. The one-day international series begins in Barbados on Feb. 20.
The prolific batsman has also played 103 tests, the last of which came in 2014. In recent years, he has focused more on limited overs cricket, including Twenty20 competitions across the world. As a part-time off-spinner, Gayle picked up 165 wickets in ODIs.
The International Cricket Council hailed Gayle as “one of the West Indies’ best ever ODI cricketers” following Sunday’s announcement.