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ICC World Cup 2019 | Bowlers Won't Say it on Camera, But They Are Scared of Me: Gayle

The self-proclaimed Universe Boss, Chris Gayle has arrived in England for his fifth and final World Cup and the 39-year-old has made it clear that the bowlers around the world are still him.

Cricketnext Staff |May 22, 2019, 11:14 AM IST
ICC World Cup 2019 | Bowlers Won't Say it on Camera, But They Are Scared of Me: Gayle

The self-proclaimed Universe Boss Chris Gayle has arrived in England for his fifth and final World Cup and the 39-year-old has made it clear that the bowlers around the world are still "scared of the man".

The swashbuckling opener is in superb form having scored 490 runs in 13 encounters in IPL 2019. Prior to that, Gayle smashed England all around the park in an ODI series, amassing 424 runs at an average of 106, including 39 sixes, in four matches.

"Youngsters coming at my head - it's not as easy as it was like one time before. I was quicker then," Gayle told cricket.com.au.

"But they'll be wary. They know what the Universe Boss is capable of. I'm sure they will have it in the back of their mind, 'Hey, this is the most dangerous batsman they've ever seen in cricket.'"

Asked if oppositions are still scared of him, Gayle said: "Can't you tell? You go ask them.

"Go ask them on camera. They're going to say, no, they're not scared. But you ask them off the camera, they going to say, 'Yeah, he's the man. He's the man.' They're going to say, 'he's the man.'

"But they won't say it (on camera), they won't be frank and upfront and say, 'Listen to me straight up, Chris Gayle is the man.'

"But I'm enjoying it. I'm always enjoying the battle against fast bowlers, it's good. Sometimes those things actually give you extra drive as a batter. When you have a battle, I like those challenges."

West Indies had to go through qualifiers to cement their spot in the 2019 World Cup but Gayle said his team has all the ingredients to lift the title.

Gayle, who will turn 40 in September, said he has nothing left to prove and is now just playing for the fans and to win the World Cup.

"To be honest with you, it's the fans, it's the love of the game. Sometimes as sportsmen, they don't know when to walk away. Because sometimes you might feel at your peak, but eventually you have to leave the game at some point in time," he said.

"If you're enjoying it, it's always easy (to keep playing) and I’m enjoying it. I've been having a lot of fun on the field, and it's a great bunch of guys as well – that's important.

"The dressing room is always going to play a key part for me as an individual. These guys spur you on. The fans are always asking you for more sixes. Those things give you that extra drive.

"There's nothing to go out there and prove, the only thing that would be nice is to win the World Cup."

Despite not playing an ODI for over two years after the 2015 World Cup, Gayle said the 2019 showpiece event was always at the back of his mind. The left-hander said he will have to keep himself in the right frame of mind, considering the longevity of the tournament.

"I am still in good nick. I had a not-so-bad IPL, coming after the home series against England.

"The good thing about it is I've been playing cricket. It's important for me to keep playing and get some games under my belt and come here to the UK and start with a few warm-up games as well to see where you're at.

"It's a long tournament. For me personally I just have to monitor it as much as possible and just get the mindset right."

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