HARARE, Zimbabwe, CMC – Ever the consummate entertainer, superstar opener Chris Gayle not only wants action in the middle during today’s final against Afghanistan but off it as well.
In fact, apart from a Windies win, the 38-year-old Jamaican is hoping for two things: a full house and plenty party vibes.
“It will be nice to actually finish playing in Harare to be honest. I hope it will be a full house and fans here in Zimbabwe are fantastic,” he said.
“The way they rock to the tunes in the stand and they cheer, I absolutely love it you know, one of the best fun zones or fun base that I have actually played in front of.
“I mean Zimbabwe, the South African dance and they love the beats. I have got to take back the music for sure.”
The Zimbabwe crowds have been energetic throughout the tournament even though their hopes of seeing their national side qualify for next year’s World Cup in England was dealt a massive blow earlier this week.
West Indies have also benefitted from the support of the home fans, who have shown plenty appreciation for the Caribbean side’s efforts.
Gayle, who has played 12 of his 280 One-Day Internationals at Harare Sports Club, said he was looking forward to joining the fans and sharing in the entertainment, in what was likely to be his last international appearance in the country.
“Don’t worry I can dance, I will dance with them, I’ll interact with the crowd on Sunday as well. I will have some fun for sure,” he said.
Gayle is the most decorated member of an otherwise inexperienced side with 9 575 ODI runs, 23 hundreds and four ICC 50-overs World Cups under his belt.
However, he has not scaled his usual giddy heights during the tournament, with just one hundred in the campaign – against United Arab Emirates in the Windies’ opening preliminary fixture.
The former Test captain said he would always have fond memories of Zimbabwe.
“It has been a great tournament, the support here in Zimbabwe is always fantastic,” he pointed out.
“It has been quite a while since I have been here. The people have been fantastic. I have a lot of great memories here in Zimbabwe – my first Test hundred was here.
“To actually come back here and relive those moments has been fantastic. This will be my last tour of Zimbabwe, and people here are great.”