Manchester: Opening batsman Chris Gayle on Wednesday (June 26) predicted a bright future for West Indies cricket as he geared up to play against India at the ICC World Cup 2019 in Manchester.

India and West Indies will face off at Old Trafford on Thursday (June 27) and Gayle has decided to reverse his ODI retirement. He will play the home series against India. Earlier, he had decided to bid adieu to ODI cricket after the World Cup in England and Wales.

Also read: Full text of Chris Gayle's press conference

The 39-year-old left-hander, in the final year of his international cricket, was asked about the future of Windies cricket and youngsters who could carry the baton for the team. Gayle picked Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran and Shai Hope as the ones to watch out for. The Jamaican said Pooran is “going to be a world record beater”.

Also read: Chris Gayle reverses ODI retirement decision

“Definitely the future is bright for West Indies cricket, without a doubt,” Gayle started off.

Nicholas Pooran and Chris Gayle during a World Cup 2019 match

He continued, “The likes of Nicholas Pooran and Hetmyer, his name has been calling in all forms of the game so far. For these guys to actually believe and build on these things. And the cricket, they can learn as a youngster. Trust me, it will be much, much better for them within their career going forward.

“But Pooran, his work ethic — I must commend Pooran's work ethic. It's fantastic for a youngster to actually just come into the team. And he's going to be a world record beater, (knocking on the wood). Nicholas Pooran is going to be a savage youngster, trust me on that one. And like I said, Bravo has been around for some time. And Shai Hope as well.

“Definitely have a big part to play in West Indies cricket. He's a guy who actually may be a future captain as well. So he's got a start, I think, going down that line as well. So it's something everyone has to rely on each other, to be honest with you.”

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The 23-year-old Pooran has so far played seven ODIs and 11 T20Is. He made his ODI debut in February. His played his first T20I in 2016.

On tomorrow’s game against India, he said, “Well, we need two points, definitely. It's an important game for us. And there's still a slim chance for us to actually qualify. But anything's possible. And going up against India, it's always going to be a challenge.”