A limited-overs marauder he might be but West Indies swashbuckler Chris Gayle says there is nothing more challenging than Test cricket, a format which can also help one understand the vagaries of life.
Speaking to Indian cricketer Mayank Agarwal for BCCI’s online show ‘Open Nets’, Gayle, who has played 103 Tests in his roller-coaster career, said nothing beats the experience. He hasn’t, however, played a Test since 2014.
“Test cricket is the ultimate. Playing Test cricket also gives you a chance, how to live life because playing five days of cricket is very challenging. It tests you so many times, makes sure you are disciplined in everything you do,” he said.
“It also teaches you how to rebound from a tough situation,” added Gayle, who has two triple hundreds in the longer format of the game.
It’s a view similar to India captain and Gayle’s former IPL teammate Virat Kohli, a man who claims to have picked up life lessons from the traditional format.
Often accused of focusing entirely on the shorter formats, the 40-year-old Gayle encouraged youngsters to strive to play Tests but not be so driven that they do not have a life beyond cricket.
“Test cricket allows you to test your skills and mental toughness… Just be dedicated, enjoy what you do. Even if it’s not within the sport, there’s always something in open out there for you,” the Jamaican said.
“So, if one thing doesn’t work, always remember there’s another opportunity for you. So please don’t be heartbroken if you are cricketer and don’t make within the cricketing arena,” he added.
Gayle on Tuesday pulled out of this year’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL), a day before the players’ draft for the competition, citing personal reasons. The 2020 edition of the CPL is scheduled to take place in Trinidad and Tobago from August 18 until September 10 subject to government clearance.
“It is understood that in his email Gayle pointed out that due to the lockdown, he has not been able to meet his family and his young child who are in St Kitts while he has been in Jamaica. Gayle said he needed a break and wanted to spend time with his young family,” ESPNCricinfo reported.
The 40-year-old was signed by St Lucia Zouks as one of the marquee players outside the draft in the $130,000-160,000 price bracket in April.