Twenty20 cricket has changed the game's landscape. With the ever-growing popularity of T20 leagues across the world, cricketers are finding opportunities even after the end of their international careers.
The West Indies cricketers have benefited most from the T20 boom. With their ability to hit the ball a mile and a fearless approach, they are the most sought-out players in T20 leagues across the globe.
However, with the growing interest in franchise-based cricket and its commercial success, it has been difficult for the West Indies cricketers to strike a balance between their international and franchise commitments. It is a well-known fact that the top cricketers from the Caribbean had a fallout with the governing body of the sport in the country -- Cricket West Indies.
The rift with the board over participation in domestic tournaments has resulted in many top cricketers, including T20 specialist Chris Gayle, being denied an opportunity to represent the national team in the 50-over format.
The ousting of big names has taken the sheen off the side and has had an adverse effect on the performance of the team -- West Indies did not make it to the eight-team Champions Trophy tournament earlier this year.
Also, the ninth-ranked ODI team are now in danger of missing out on a direct entry to the 2019 Cricket World Cup. With a crucial five-match series coming up against England on the road before the cut-off date for qualification (top-eight teams) of September 30, senior cricketers' participation still remains a doubt.
However, Gayle reveals that there are positive developments in the relationship between players and the cricket board back home. Notably, the 37-year-old globe-trotter returned to the side after a 15-month-absence during the West Indies' emphatic win over India in the one-off T20I match in Jamaica on Sunday, July 9.
"It is looking good between players and the board. We have to try and build from this to get the best players out on the field. I cannot get into specific details. Just from the little I have experienced since coming back, there is still more discussions to be done," Gayle, who was speaking at an event promoting IONA -- a virtual reality gaming start-up in Bengaluru, said.
"From a personal point of view, I will have to be monitored as well, playing for the West Indies. It is positive. That's the good thing about it. We have to just look to carry on from here.
"It is for them [the cricket board] to make the announcement and make it formal so that we know what is what. We will wait and see what happens. Once we are guided with the rules, whether it is going to change fully, we will know how to take things further."
Meanwhile, Gayle's personal form has not been good in the recent past. After managing only 160 runs from nine games in this year's Pakistan Super League, the West Indies dasher put on another forgettable show in IPL 2017, scoring at 22.22.
Despite having suffered fitness issues in the recent past, Gayle is confident that he still has a couple of year's of international cricket left in him. He also asserted he will be working towards representing the West Indies at the 2019 World Cup.
"I am still active, playing cricket around the world, a couple more years still left to play. My target is actually to play the 2019 World Cup. I am looking forward to that," Gayle said.