We all thought Chris Gayle’s 301st one-day game for West Indies would be his last – except for the man himself.
Gayle, 39, scored 72 in his side’s defeat by India in what had been expected to be his final match.
But the batsman – who recently surpassed Brian Lara’s ODI run record, which now stands at 10,481 – is playing on “until further notice”.
In June, Gayle reversed his original decision to retire after the World Cup.
Gayle, who usually wears the number 45, wore a specially-printed shirt with the number 301 on the back at the third ODI against India at the Queen’s Park Oval.
But his 72 in 41 balls, 62 of those scored on the boundary, was not enough to help his side avoid defeat – and a 3-0 series loss.
Gayle left the field waving his bat aloft, soaking up the warm and prolonged applause from the crowd, a gesture indicating that would be the last time he would be wearing West Indies colours.
India captain Virat Kohli’s impressive 114 helped his side to a six wicket victory on the DLS method, and he was also swept up by the occasion, gushing about how Gayle was a “gem of a human being” and “always kind” as a tribute to his former Royal Challengers Bangalore team-mate upon his retirement.
But retired-not-retired Gayle said after the game: “I didn’t announce any retirement.”
West Indies captain Jason Holder said: “To my knowledge, he [Gayle] has not retired.
“But today was an example of his career. He was entertaining, he showed presence, and that’s just what people have come to expect of Chris Gayle over the years.”
Prior to the World Cup, Jamaican Gayle also revealed he wanted to play in an upcoming Test match against India on home soil, but he has not been selected in the squad.
The first of the two-Test begins on 22 August at Sir Viv Richards Stadium.