DHAKA, Bangladesh – Chris Gayle said he was looking forward to the West Indies’ two-Test series against Bangladesh.
The talismanic opener said he was glad to play a key role in West Indies winning the ICC World Twenty20 Tournament, but it was time to focus on the new challenge, and continue to help the visitors move up the World Rankings.
“It felt good to be part of a World champion team and to achieve that particular milestone,” Gayle told reporters on Saturday.
“It is something that I can look back in the future and say I was a part of it. Hopefully, we can build on that success and do better in the longer format of the game.
“This has been our major challenge in the last few years. Hopefully, we can get things kick-started and make sure we do better in this Test series and the longer format of the game.”
Gayle said it will be important for West Indies to start well and felt the players were ready to move forward.
“The players are just trying to fine-tune things now,” he said. “We’ve had a camp and I’ve been hitting the ball pretty well, so we just want to get back into the middle and get back into the groove as quickly as possible.
“It won’t be easy. Playing away from home is always a challenge. . .It’s always difficult to play Bangladesh in Bangladesh. Even though we won the series last time we came here, they are going to be very competitive.
“We are not going to take them lightly. They have got a lot of key players and they have a captain who leads from the front, so we are going to play like they were any other opponent.”
Gayle said he felt it was possible for the team to climb into the top-five in the World Rankings in the next year, as suggested by head coach Ottis Gibson.
“There is nothing wrong with setting targets and if we want to challenge ourselves and see how much progress we have made in a year’s time,” he said.
“The top-five is something we should look to target and I am looking to be a part of that too. Once we all pull together that goal is very, very possible.”
West Indies continued their preparations for the series on Saturday with a full practice session that included match simulations under the guidance of Gibson.
The visitors were due to start a two-day, tour match against a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI on Friday, but the BCB announced on Thursday that the contest was shelved due to unplayable conditions at the BKSP Ground in Savar, a town 25 miles north of the Bangladesh capital.
This followed an inspection of the venue by BCB and West Indies management officials early on Thursday, after steady rain over the last week in the country.
The match was originally scheduled to be played over three days from Thursday.
This is West Indies’ third full tour of Bangladesh, following trips in 2002 and last year.