David Warner has likely met Chris Gayle in an international fixture for the last time and the Aussie had some parting words for his rival.
David Warner has paid tribute to his international rival and “pure entertainer” Chris Gayle as the curtain comes down on the legendary opener’s West Indian career.
The Aussies redeemed themselves for a lacklustre tour of the Caribbean over the winter by convincingly defeating the West Indies and advancing to the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup on Saturday night (AEDT).
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Warner was instrumental with an unbeaten 89; his highest score of the tournament so far. While Gayle would’ve liked more runs to his name than the 15 he scored, the 42-year-old picked up one of the West Indies’ two wickets in the second innings, sending Mitch Marsh on his way in the only over he bowled.
Gayle has yet to officially confirm his retirement, hinting post-game that he is hoping for a swan song on his home deck in Jamaica, but it appears unlikely Warner will ever meet Gayle again in an international fixture.
Both men have earned their place in the pantheon of T20 opening batters but after his side’s win, Warner only wanted to talk about Gayle.
“Chris has obviously changed game for all opening batsmen around the world in all three formats,” Warner said of the veteran.
“He has a lot of size on his side, and he has a lot of power on his side, so he’s able to pick up three-pound bats, which (other openers) can’t.”
Warner said Gayle had been a world-class performer from the very beginning of his career.
“From the get-go, he just put fear in the back of the bowlers’ minds and he was able to intimidate,” he said.
“He’s had a great career. I respect that immensely, and I’m just proud to watch him.”
Gayle’s West Indian teammate Dwayne Bravo has announced his own retirement. Warner said the game would be poorer for the loss of the two stars.
“They are just pure entertainers,” he said.
“I wish them all the best in their future endeavours, and look out on their social media, because they are great characters and entertainers. I love it.”