Bridgetown, Barbados – West Indies opening batsman Chris Gayle is looking forward to the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka. The experienced left-hander, who has appeared 88 Tests – making 6007 runs; and 220 One-Day Internationals – hitting 7885 runs, said he gained a lot from the recent camp in Barbados and is fully prepared for the challenge of facing the Sri Lankan attack in the coming weeks.
"I’m feeling good … I’m hitting the ball really well. I hit a lot of balls in the camp and I’m looking forward to the tour. We are looking to have a winning tour. The preparations went really well and you could see everyone putting in the hard work. We know that nothing comes easy and we have to put in the hard work to achieve our goals," the powerful six-footer said.
"It will be different conditions to what we are accustomed to. We have a three-day warm-up game to get acclimatized and take it from there. As a team we have been planning well and we believe we will do very well," added the 31-year-old.
Allrounder Darren Sammy has taken over from Gayle as captain of the team and Gayle has given the new man at the helm his full support.
"It will be a new role for Sammy. I wish him all the best and we will all be there to rally around him and give him the necessary support. He is the one who will have to take charge and lead from the front and we all know he is capable. We are all there to try and guide and help him."
Gayle was speaking shortly before he and some team-mates left for the tour on Thursday evening. The second half of the team will leave on Friday. In Sri Lanka the Windies will play three Tests, five One-Day Internationals and a T20 International.
WEST INDIES SQUAD: Darren Sammy (Captain), Brendan Nash (Vice Captain), Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh, Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Shiv Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle, Nelon Pascal, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Shane Shillingford, Devon Smith, Devon Thomas
TEAM MANAGEMENT UNIT: Ottis Gibson (Head Coach), Joel Garner (Team Manager), David Williams (Assistant Coach), C.J Clark (Physiotherapist), Richard Berridge (Video & Statistical Analyst), Hector Martinez Charles (Strength & Conditioning Co-ordinator), Philip Spooner (Media Relations Officer), Virgil Browne (Massage Therapist), Courtney Browne (WICB Selector)
November 10-12: Warm-up match at SSC, Colombo
November 15-19: 1st Test at Galle International Stadium, Galle
November 23-27: 2nd Test at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
December 1-5: 3rd Test at Pallekele Cricket Stadium, Kandy
December 9: 1st ODI at Suriyawewa Stadium, Hambantota
December 11: 2nd ODI at Suriyawewa Stadium, Hambantota
December 15: 3rd ODI at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
December 17: 4th ODI at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
December 19: 5th ODI at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
December 21: T20 International at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo