Jason Holder isn't counting Chris Gayle out for the upcoming ICC World Cup in 2019. Speculations over Gayle's chances for World Cup popped up after the southpaw picked Afghanistan Premier League over international cricket.
“He (Gayle) is definitely going to play the World Cup once his body holds up and he’s fit. We’d welcome him into the team. If you go back to the beginning of the year, Chris made himself available for the World Cup qualifiers. He only did that really because he wants to play the World Cup, he wants to play well for West Indies and he wants to do well,” Holder said.
The West Indies skipper doesn't want to ignore the contribution made by Gayle in their qualification into the World Cup 2019.
Holder also respects his decision to play T20 leagues. “When he does that – he has plenty of options around the world to make money – it says something about the individual, says something about what he wants and I really admire that. He was obviously a pivotal part in us qualifying to the World Cup,” he said.
West Indies had to play the ICC Qualifiers to ensure their place in World Cup 2019. Holder said big names like Gayle and Marlon Samuels didn't lack intensity during the qualifiers against associate countries. "Guys like him, Marlon Samuels, who really made themselves available on that instance (ICC Qualifiers), credit must go to them and not only them, to each and every individual who has come up to represent West Indies.
“They knew the significance and importance of that tournament; we played against teams we probably weren’t accustomed to playing against. It was difficult. But as the series went on, we rallied well and we achieved the objective.”
In Gayle's defense to choose club over country, Holder added, “Not worried. Chris is an all-star and I think it’s clear he’s probably at the back end of his career now. He’s probably tapering off a bit. I just saw him play his last List A game for Jamaica, scoring a hundred against my home team, which is great to see. I enjoy having Chris around.
“I think he’s one of the most entertaining players in the world but his absence gives another player an opportunity. We have a limited time leading up to the World Cup and it’s a good option to see what we have in the tank,” Holder said.