Gayle open to Test return


Chris Gayle has opened the door on a return to the West Indies Test team, insisting he will be "good to go" next year.

The destructive 36-year-old has not played in the longest format of the game since September 2014, but suggested he will consider making himself available again in 2017, fitness-permitting.

Gayle, one of only four batsmen in history to have hit two triple-centuries, revealed he still has goals in the longest format of the game.

"It's possible," Gayle told the Guardian when asked if he will play Test cricket again.

"It could happen next year. If I can strengthen my back and get the body and mind in tune. Once those things are done I'm good to go. Maybe score another triple century?"

Gayle insisted he deserves more respect for what he has achieved in the Test arena, where he averages 42.18 and has struck 15 career hundreds.

"I'm disappointed people don't recognise what I did in Test cricket," Gayle said. "For an opening batsman to get two triple-centuries? A lot of greats haven't got one.

"So to have those achievements dismissed and just be the 'King of T20' cricket? It's good to be called the king of something but to have the most hundreds in ODI cricket for the West Indies?

"People don't acknowledge Chris Gayle is the highest run-scorer when it comes to centuries. Most people sweep it under the carpet but I've proved myself. I've played 100 Test matches. I should get credit for that."

In recent years Gayle has become as notorious for his controversial comments as he is hailed for his powerful hitting, and the batsman addressed the media storm he created in January by inappropriately flirting with reporter Mel McLaughlin live on television.

"It was just a joke. The players are laughing. They know I like to clown around," Gayle said. "She knew it as well. She was laughing before the interview and saying: 'Guys, stop it, stop laughing.'

"But you're a woman in an environment with men. You're good-looking. What do you expect? People are going to make jokes. I've seen people kiss the same Mel on live television. There are double standards. All the commentary guys found it amusing - but then someone whispers in their ears and everything was blown out of proportion.

"Everybody is entitled to their opinion. She got more bad press than me. The public gave her the bad press. She was the one who looked bad - not me.

"If she was upset she would've said it. At no stage did she say she felt offended by me. Then they wanted an apology and she came on air and said: 'He's apologised - so let it go everybody.' You could tell she had been forced to say those things. Trust me."