T20 World Cup final is one to savour: Chris Gayle

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 29, 2024 IST

Chris Gayle

Bridgetown, Barbados, June 29: West Indies cricket legend Chris Gayle has stated, "ICC Men's T20 World Cup is one to savour."

The ICC forwarded Gayle's exclusive column on the T20 World Cup, jointly hosted by the West Indies and the USA.

Chris Gayle stated, "We are at the end of what has been a brilliant ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 – and we have a final fit for the occasion."

He added, "India and South Africa have both played excellent cricket and really deserve their place in Barbados this weekend. It is going to be so hard to call – with two teams who have played clean and aggressive cricket throughout the tournament.

"India are going to be so hard to beat. They bat so deep and in Jasprit Bumrah, have a world-class death bowler who can break the hearts of the opponents. In contrast, I picked South Africa as a dark horse before the tournament began, and it is very special to see them finally reach their first final after so many semi-final upsets."

The Caribbean legend further stated, "Getting over the hump and winning a World Cup is so special and if they can do it, it will create memories that will last a lifetime for the players and the nation.

"I have won the T20 World Cup on two occasions, and they are among the most special experiences I have in life – let alone cricket.

"I have so many treasured items from my career but my two rings for winning World Cups are the standouts. They are like Super Bowl rings, almost physical proof that you have climbed to the top of the mountain and become champions of the world."

He continued, "When she’s older, I will give both of my rings – for being part of the West Indies sides that won the T20 World Cups in 2012 and 2016 – to my daughter and I can’t wait for that moment.

"I will tell her to keep one, and then pass the other one down to my future grandchildren, and I’m so proud to keep them in our family for generations."

Sharing his feelings and expectations about the intense final Gayle wrote, "Barbados is going to be at its regal best for the final and the build-up to the match has brought back so many memories of our special day in 2012. But before I get to that, it’s worth pointing out that it’s the journey to get to a final that truly forms a team and their identity."

Moving down the memory lane he stated, "We played New Zealand in the final match of the Super 8s, and it went down to a Super Over – with the winner going through to the semi-final. I knew I had to be brave when I went out to bat, and I was lucky enough to thrive in situations where the pressure was most intense.

"I smacked the first ball for six, and in that moment I knew we’d go on, win the match and the tournament."

Remembering West Indies team's matches, Gayle added, "We played against Sri Lanka, the host nation, in the final and we really struggled. But Marlon Samuels played one of the innings of his life and we posted an okay total on a low-scoring pitch. Our bowlers then did the rest.

"When that final Sri Lankan wicket fell, and it was an indescribable moment. At first, I think I felt relief more than anything and then just pure joy. I didn’t actually sleep that night, I think I was up for 24 hours after winning it. We went for a photoshoot the next morning and I don’t think I want to see the pictures! We were so tired but so content with life at the same time."

He continued further, "I had a good tournament in 2012 and finished as the fourth-highest run-scorer in six innings.

"Four years on, we were lucky enough to do it again and Carlos Brathwaite played that remarkable innings against England. Remember the name? In so many ways, it was more phenomenal to win it again – but I think experience counts for so much in finals. It’s why India will be so confident on Sunday."

Summing up about the title clash, the legend stated, "Whoever comes out on top, they will join a select group of people who can call themselves a Men’s T20 World Cup champion. I promise the winners, it’s the most amazing feeling in the world."

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