Chris Gayle excited for 'phenomenal’ India vs Pakistan clash at T20 World Cup 2024

The T20 spectacle, commencing on June 1, is being jointly hosted by USA and the West Indies

By Web Desk
February 29, 2024
Chris Gayle. - REUTERS

Former West Indies captain Chris Gayle hopes that the T20 World Cup will assist cricket in making inroads into the lucrative American sports market and elevating the game to a new global level.

The T20 spectacle, commencing on June 1, is being jointly hosted by the United States and Gayle's homeland, the West Indies, with expectations of large crowds.

Gayle, speaking from Barbados, emphasised the significance of the T20 World Cup in introducing cricket to a worldwide audience, particularly within the United States.

He highlighted the success of a T20 tournament held in the USA last year, indicating a growing interest in and market for cricket in the country.

"The ICC (International Cricket Council) has been trying to get cricket on a global scale within the USA," Gayle told AFP in an interview.

The match between India and Pakistan, two arch-rivals with a rich history of cricketing encounters, is expected to be a sell-out event at a temporary 34,000-seat venue in Long Island, New York. This match, according to Gayle, promises to be "phenomenal" and a pivotal moment for cricket in America.

"India v Pakistan is in New York, I'm sure it's going to be phenomenal. They (the USA) had a T20 tournament last year, and it was a success. It's a big market, we just have to hope it will be a success within the United States," Gayle added.

The West Indies have a team with a rich history in limited-overs cricket but failed to qualify for the last 50-over World Cup. The T20 World Cup provides an opportunity for the West Indies to vie for glory on the global stage.

Gayle conveyed a personal wish to witness the West Indies reach the final, scheduled to take place in Barbados on June 29, underscoring the unpredictability of outcomes in the finals.

"We missed out on the 50-over World Cup so this will be something fantastic for the guys to actually play for something," said Gayle, speaking via video call from Barbados.

"We just want to be in the (June 29) final here in Barbados. Anything is possible when you make it to the final."

"I'm excited for the people, to actually see a bit of cricket," added big-hitting opener Gayle, who in 2007 became the first batsman to score a T20 international century.