West Indies announce Chris Gayle as vice-captain for World Cup

West Indies cricket board have named Chris Gayle as the vice-captain of the team for the upcoming World Cup. (AP/File Photo)

With less than a month to the World Cup, the West Indies cricket board have named Chris Gayle as the vice-captain of the team. The Jamaican cricketer last led the Windies in the limited-over format back in June 2010, and will be Jason Holder’s deputy in what is set to be his final ODI tournament.

Expressing happiness over being given a new role in the team, the 39-year-old said this World Cup is special for him and as a senior member of the squad it is his duty to assist every member in the team.

"It is always an honour to represent the West Indies in any format and this World Cup for me is special. As a senior player, it is my responsibility to support the captain and everyone else in the team. This will probably be the biggest World Cup, so there will be great expectations and I know we will do very well for the people of the West Indies," Gayle was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.

The left-handed batsman who was playing in the ongoing Indian Premier League missed the Tri-Nation series, which West Indies is playing in Ireland and Bangladesh.

After a drubbing by England in their previous limited-over series, West Indies returned to their winning ways with a 196-run win over hosts Ireland in the tournament opener. The opening pair of Shai Hope and John Campbell put on a record opening stand and also went on to break Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid’s 331-run stand to form the second-highest partnership in ODIs.

After the performance, Hope was elevated to the position of vice-captain for the series. Speaking on the development, the 25-year-old said, "It’s a tremendous honour to be appointed vice-captain for this series here in Ireland. Ahead of this tournament, I was asked to take on this role and I was happy to accept. Anything I’m asked to do for West Indies cricket I’m always happy and willing to put my hand up, so this is great."

West Indies’ campaign at the World Cup will get underway when they lock horns with Pakistan in the second match of the tournament on May 31.

West Indies squad for 2019 World Cup: Jason Holder (c), Andre Russell, Ashley Nurse, Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, Kemar Roach, Nicholas Pooran, Oshane Thomas, Shai Hope, Shannon Gabriel, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer