Experienced big-hitting opener Chris Gayle has been appointed as the vice-captain of the West Indies cricket team for the upcoming all-important 2019 World Cup. The 50-overs quadrennial event will be commencing with the opening game between hosts England and South Africa on May 30 in London. While the Windies team will be beginning their World Cup campaign against Pakistan on 31st May in Nottingham.
The decision to appoint Gayle as the vice-captain comes as yet another change in the thought process within the Windies Cricket Board after the takeover by new management. Gayle has already announced that the upcoming World Cup will mark his last appearance in the 50-overs format.
It is always an honour
The Windies opener, Gayle, has previously led the national team in the ODI format in June 2010 and now he will be playing as deputy to skipper Jason Holder in the upcoming mega event in England. Although his team, Kings XI Punjab has been eliminated in the ongoing 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Gayle is still in India and while speaking on this development, he noted that it is an honour to represent the nation in a tournament such as the World Cup. Gayle stated that this mega event is very much special for him.
He stated that as a senior player of the national team, it is his responsibility to support the skipper and other players. He mentioned that the upcoming World Cup is expected to be a very big event and thus, the expectations would also be greater.
"It is always an honour to represent the West Indies in any format and this World Cup for me is special. As a senior player it is my responsibility to support the captain and everyone else in the team. This will probably be the biggest World Cup, so there will be great expectations and I know we will do very well for the people of the West Indies," quoted Chris Gayle on his appointment.
Barring the IPL bound players, the Windies team is currently playing the ongoing tri-series involving hosts Ireland and Bangladesh. West Indies won the tri-series opener against Ireland by a massive 196-run margin due to staggering performances from the two openers, John Campbell and Shai Hope. In this series, Hope is named as the vice-captain.
"It's a tremendous honour to be appointed vice captain for this series here in Ireland. Ahead of this tournament I was asked to take on this role and I was happy to accept. Anything I'm asked to do for West Indies cricket I'm always happy and willing to put my hand up, so this is great," said Shai Hope.