West Indies hard-hitting opening batsman Chris Gayle is planning to return to Test cricket next year.
Gayle was quoted by reporters in Australia as saying one of his goals for the New Year is to resume his playing career with the West Indies Test team barring injury.
The top batsman said had it not been for his lingering back injury, he would have been playing in the current Test series between Australia and the West Indies.
The 36-year-old Jamaican has been ongoing rehabilitation work after surgery on a debilitating back injury earlier this year.
“I haven’t retired from the game. Test cricket is still on the agenda, for sure,” said Gayle, who played the last of his 103 Tests in July 2014.
Gayle, who has scored 7214 Test runs at an average of 42.18, has stressed that his interest in Test cricket has not dwindled but explained that his back problems have delayed his return to the longer format of the game.
He is currently playing for the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League after earlier this month featuring in four Twenty20 matches of the Bangladesh Premier League.
Gayle has also appealed for support for the West Indies team, comprising mostly of young players, saying they need time to develop as a Test playing side.
West Indies lost seven of their last 10 Test matches and suffered a heavy defeat in the recent opening Test against Australia.