'Universe Boss' Chris Gayle to face Ireland in return for West Indies
THE ‘Universe Boss' Chris Gayle returns to the West Indies line-up for tomorrow's one-off One Day International against Ireland at Stormont.
Gayle opens the batting for the Caribbean outfit that also includes T20 World Cup winner Marlon Samuels and Shai Hope who compiled almost 400 runs in the recent Test match series against England.
Ireland have lost their last five ODIs while the West Indies have won two and lost three, but William Porterfield's side were victorious when the sides last met in the 2015 World Cup.
Porterfield made 23 as the Irish chased down over 300 to win in back then and the Derry native is one of a number of richly experienced players in this Ireland line-up including Paul Sterling, the O'Brien brothers (Niall and Kevin) and former England stars Ed Joyce and fast bowler Boyd Rankin.
“We've played good cricket against the West Indies, now we have to do that on a consistent basis," said Porterfield
“We've beaten them before at Stormont and want to do that again. It will be Ireland's first game against another Full Member side since they gained Test status in June.
“It was nice to get over the line to become a Full Member but that's just the beginning of the journey," added the opener.
“We want to start off with a bang in terms of being a Full Member side against another."
Meanwhile, West Indies star Gayle is targeting the 2019 World Cup and will hope to find his form after a hit-and-miss Caribbean Premier League campaign.
“The fans were happy to see me back on the field representing West Indies,” he said.
“Hopefully, things can get better. Hopefully I can play a few more games. I definitely want to play the 2019 World Cup.
“Things are beginning to open up a little more now between players and the board. It's looking good, and we've to try and build from this to get the best players out on the field.”
Ireland (possible): William Porterfield (c), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Niall O'Brien, Andy Balbirnie, Kevin O'Brien, Gary Wilson (wk), Tim Murtagh, George Dockrell, Jacob Mulder, Boyd Rankin
West Indies (possible): Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Marlon Samuels, Shai Hope (wk), Jason Mohammed, Jason Holder (capt), Rovman Powell, Ashley Nurse, Devendra Bishoo, Jerome Taylor, Kesrick Williams