Chris Gayle will “relish” the chance to take on England quicks Mark Wood and Jofra Archer, according to West Indies coach Corey Collymore. Gayle has hinted he could retire from one-day cricket after the World Cup and is eager to bow out on a high befitting his self-appointed “Universe Boss” moniker. The 39-year-old proved there was plenty left in the tank when England toured the Caribbean earlier this year, smashing a record 39 sixes in a drawn five-match series. The teams reconvene at the Hampshire Bowl on Friday, when Gayle can expect to face a barrage from Barbados-born Archer and Durham’s Wood.
Both men have hit 95 miles per-hour (153 kph) since the start of the tournament, but very little worries the big-hitting Jamaican. “Chris thrives on that. I have known him since he was 16 and he has always loved a challenge,” said Collymore, the West Indies bowling coach.
“He has always enjoyed the challenge of fast bowling so I expect him to relish that. I have known Archer for a while and I saw Wood in the Caribbean.
“They are both very impressive, as we have seen throughout this tournament.”
Archer could have been bowling for the West Indies, had they persuaded him to pursue an international future with them, but even in his absence they are a frightening prospect. In Oshane Thomas, Andre Russell, Sheldon Cottrell and Shannon Gabriel they have four seamers capable of making the batsmen hop, leaving Collymore to predict a fiery encounter. “I did work with him (Archer) when he was a lot younger in Barbados. He was very impressive. The skills he shows now are ones he always had so we are expecting more of the same from him,” he said.
“But we have quick bowlers too so it should be a lively game.
“I don’t think many people like the short stuff, whether it is England or the West Indies. If you find a batsman that has a weakness to it, then you go after that.”