'Farewell match for Gayle could set bad precedent' - analyst believes WI legend must get into squad on merit

By Sports Desk November 25, 2021

Cricket commentator and analyst, Fazeer Mohammed, believes using an official international fixture to bid farewell to legendary T20 batsman Chris Gayle could set a bad precedent.

The 42-year-old batsman was widely expected to call time on his career following an unsuccessful ICC T20 World Cup campaign.  Following the team’s elimination from the tournament, however, the big-hitting left-hander suggested that he may be given one more game, at Sabina Park, in his home country of Jamaica, to bid a final farewell to international cricket.

The suggestion has divided opinion.  While some believe that paying tribute to a player who has scored the most runs ever in the format, with 14,321, others believe he should simply have moved on following the end of the tournament.  In the past, the regional board has been accused of not honouring players that have made a huge mark for the West Indies, but some insist an exception should not be made for Gayle if his form does not merit a place in the squad.  Mohammed, however, believes the solution could lie somewhere in-between.

“It’s another thing to see a situation where a player has basically called for a farewell, called for an opportunity to play a final match,” Mohammed told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“Gayle also wanted to play a last Test in Jamaica thankfully that was not granted because I think that is going down a road where players of a certain stature are making demands, which I don’t think should be entertained as far as the international structure of cricket,” he added.

“Are you saying somebody is going to be left out on merit to accommodate somebody’s farewell? Give him a testimonial, in the same way, you see in other countries…but I think it’s a dangerous precedent where someone is allowed to play an official international match as a farewell if they don’t deserve that place on merit.”

 

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