Talismanic West Indies opener Chris Gayle has been named vice-captain for the upcoming World Cup, which is expected to be his swansong from the one-day format.
Cricket West Indies announced Monday that the 39-year-old would serve as Jason Holder’s deputy for the May 30 to July 14 while young stroke-maker Shai Hope will be vice-captain for the ongoing Tri-Nations Series here which started on Sunday and wraps Mat 17.
Gayle, the most experienced player in the Windies World Cup squad, is a former West Indies captain having led the Caribbean side in 53 One-Day Internationals and 20 Tests between 2007 and 2010.
The left-hander, who has featured in 289 ODIs and scored 10 151 and 25 hundreds, earlier this year signaled his intention to retire following the World Cup.
“It is always an honour to represent the West Indies in any format and this World Cup for me is special,” Gayle said of his appointment as vice-captain.
“As a senior player it is my responsibility to support the captain and everyone else in the team. This will probably be the biggest World Cup, so there will be great expectations and I know we will do very well for the people of the West Indies.”
He will be a pivotal player for West Indies in the World Cup, having displayed tremendous form in the recent ODI home series against England where he plundered 424 runs to be adjudged Man-of-the-Series.
Hope, meanwhile, has emerged as the Windies’ most consistent ODI batsmen in recent times. He marked his 50th match on Sunday with a superb 170 against Ireland as West Indies opened the Tri-Nations Series with a handsome 196-run victory.
The right-hander has already scored 1947 runs with five centuries, and averages 48.67.
“It’s a tremendous honour to be appointed vice captain for this series here in Ireland,” he said.
“Ahead of this tournament I was asked to take on this role and I was happy to accept. Anything I’m asked to do for West Indies cricket I’m always happy and willing to put my hand up, so this is great.”
West Indies take on Bangladesh in their second match of the Tri-Nations on Tuesday here.
Gayle, however, is not part of the squad, due to his commitments with Kings XI Punjab in the ongoing Indian Premier League.