One final hurrah for the 'universe boss'

On his day, Gayle can effortlessly dominate any attack. But at 39, fitness will be a concern for the veteran.

The World Cup fever has set in and it's hard not to focus on the self-proclaimed "Universe Boss". To play four World Cups is a reflection of not just one's passion for the game but longevity as well. And to attract the same amount of attention in each edition tells a lot about the player's calibre. 

Chris Gayle has completed 20 years at the international level and in England, it's a no brainer that the talismanic opener remains the key to the West Indies' fortunes at the showpiece event even though he has progressively become sluggish on the field.

Gayle's destructive ability has been unmatched. The records under his belt are a clinching proof. The 39-year-old has struck the most number of sixes in international cricket. Gayle, with 16 sixes against Zimbabwe in 2015, owns the record for most number of sixes in an ODI innings. 

The Caribbean side can breathe easy as far as Gayle's form is concerned. In the recently-concluded Indian Premier League-12, Gayle amassed 490 runs to be the sixth highest run-getter. Before that, Gayle smashed two big hundreds and one half-century in the ODI series against England at home. 

On his day, Gayle can effortlessly dominate any attack. But at 39, fitness will be a concern for the veteran. The West Indies will pray their batting mainstay is available for all games. 

The West Indies have named him the vice-captain and having played across the globe, Gayle's vast experience will come in handy to a team that mostly consists of inexperienced players. 

"I never dreamed of playing so many World Cups. But the longevity has driven me to go on and on. It also pushes me to win the World Cup for the West Indies," Gayle had said in an interview recently. In the final leg of his career, Gayle would want to script a memorable ending to his glorious career. Not just the West Indies but world cricket too would be the biggest gainer.






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