Chris Gayle is set to mark a special milestone in his outstanding career when he plays his 250th One-Day International for the West Indies on Sunday.
The powerful left-hander made his international debut back in 1999 against India and said Sunday’s match against Pakistan will be “special”.
The match at the Guyana National Stadium will be the first in the five-match series and will mark a return to international cricket in Guyana after a two-year absence. A huge crowd is expected, with over 85 per cent of the tickets already sold.
“To get 250 ODIs is always good. It will be a special match for me. It took a lot of years, but my service for West Indies has been good and I am glad to serve my country on so many occasions,” Gayle told reporters on Saturday.
“Anything is possible. I would love to get a century…that would be something truly special. I remember my 100th ODI, I did get a century, so I’m really looking forward to tomorrow and I would like to get a win for the West Indies team and the fans here in Guyana as well.
He added: “In Guyana we are always sure we will get the support from the fans. We expect a full stadium and they have always offered tremendous support and we want to give them a lot to cheer about.”
The 33-year-old Gayle will become the third West Indian to play 250 ODIs – following Brian Lara (299 matches) and Shiv Chanderpaul (268 matches).
Gayle is one of the leading batsmen in ODI cricket for West Indies with 8,681 runs at 38.24 runs per innings with and top score of 153.
He has made 21 centuries – the most in West Indies history. He also has an impressive Test record – with two triple-centuries in 97 matches; and is the most destructive batsman in the T20 format.
The last time the West Indies face Pakistan was last month in the ICC Champions Trophy in England when the Windies emerged with a two-wicket victory in a close contest at the Oval.
Gayle said that result will serve as a motivator for the home side.
“This is a fresh series for us and we will look to make a winning start. Pakistan have one of the best bowling attack, but we beat them in the Champions Trophy last month and we will take confidence from that. We will look to get a kick start. We know the home conditions well and will look to use it to our advantage,” the Windies Number 45 added.
Dwayne Bravo (captain)
ODIs start at 9 am | T20s start at 2 pm
Guyana National Stadium, Guyana
Sunday July 14 – First ODI
Tuesday July 16 – Second ODI
Beausejour Cricket Ground, St Lucia
Friday July 19 – Third ODI
Sunday July 21 – Fourth ODI
Wednesday July 24 – Fifth ODI
Arnos Vale Cricket Ground, St Vincent
Saturday July 27 – First T20 International
Sunday July 28 – Second T20 International
WICB Media Release.