Gayle upbeat even if his chances slim

They may be a long shot for the World Cup, but Chris Gayle has indicated West Indies’ aim is to reach at least the Super Eight stage. At least he is being realistic about their expectations.

Gayle feels that this may restore some confidence in Darren Sammy’s side, after recent struggles in the limited overs game. “We want to get the record straight this time,” he said. “There are a lot of expectations from people back home. We want to go all out for them. This is my third World Cup and I’m treating it like my final World Cup.”

“The West Indies have a legacy of winning the World Cup and I want to give my best to win matches for us. Right now, it will be one game at a time, but in the back of our minds we are looking at the quarter-finals and then take it from there.

“We will look to build strength from the early stages and develop as we move along. It won’t be an easy task, but it has to be done and we as players have to do it.”

West Indies won the World Cups in 1975 and 1979 and were the beaten finalists in 1983, but have since struggled in the global competition.

“I’m looking forward to the tournament and the dream is to see the West Indies come out on top,” he said.

“The World Cup is the pinnacle of a player’s career and it is good to be part of the tournament here in the sub-continent. It can’t get any bigger than this.

Whenever I cross that boundary rope, I won’t leave anything on the field. I’m going to give it my all, give it my best shot. I am looking to try and dominate the World Cup. I am sure we have the team to get the job done for the people of the Caribbean.

“We have the firepower—the bowling combinations are good—and we have good all rounders, and quality in our batting. I am here now and I will be trying to make the most of it and win one for the fans.”

The 31-year-old Jamaican has played 223 one-day internationals. He has scored 7,917 runs at an average of 39.00. He has also scored 19 ODI centuries—equal with Brian Lara for the most by a West Indian but hinted he could bow out after this one.

“This is my third World Cup. I played in South Africa in 2003 and in the Caribbean four years ago. I don’t know what the future holds and I don’t want to sit back and wait for the next World Cup in four years’ time.”

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