Digicel-sponsored West Indies captain, Chris Gayle, admitted his team found it difficult to cope with the frigid May weather as it slumped to a 0-2 series sweep at the hands of hosts England, with an innings defeat in the second Test at Chester-le-Street on Monday.
“They were very testing conditions and playing cricket in these sorts of conditions is a really, really big challenge for us,” he said after the loss.
“It’s not about the ball nipping around. We all expect the ball to do something here in England, whether it’s cold or not,” he said. “And sometimes in the fielding department it’s really, really hard to go out there with your hands burning, which made it difficult to catch.”
“In the batting department, it’s hard to concentrate for a long period of time in this cold, no doubt about it,” he added.
The Jamaican said he hoped the adverse conditions would toughen his players for the future.
“I’m not finding too many excuses – they were difficult conditions. But at the same time, I’m happy we actually gained some experience out of this,” he said.
Gayle said that he was not happy with the overall standards during the min-series, “We played poor cricket and, when we had our chances, we didn’t make the best use of it and England capitalized on it.”
The 29-year-old also revealed that the pre-match fuss over his comment about giving up the captaincy and Test cricket was overblown and he reaffirmed his commitment to the regional side.
“I’ll be around to guide the team as I see how I can help try and grow West Indies cricket,” he said. “It’s been down for quite a few years now and we’re all trying our best to improve in every department, but it won’t happen overnight. We’ve been working hard and we have a good bunch, a good unit.”
Gayle was eager to turn the tables on England in the one-day series which begins on Thursday at Headingley in Leeds.
“I’m confident we can actually beat England in the ODI series,” he said. “It won’t be easy, but we’ll have to get off to a good start at Headingley and basically take it from there.”
“There’s a new bunch of guys coming in as well who hopefully can adapt to the situation as quickly as possible,” he added.
“It’s a challenge for us and we are looking forward to it and, hopefully, we can enjoy it at the same time.”