We all thought Chris Gayle’s 301st one-day game for West Indies would be his last – except for the man himself.
Gayle, 39, scored 72 in his side’s defeat by India in what had been expected to be his final match.
But the batsman – who recently surpassed Brian Lara’s ODI run record, which now stands at 10,481 – is playing on “until further notice”.
In June, Gayle reversed his original decision to retire after the World Cup.
Gayle, who usually wears the number 45, wore a specially-printed shirt with the number 301 on the back at the third ODI against India at the Queen’s Park Oval.
But his 72 in 41 balls, 62 of those scored on the boundary, was not enough to help his side avoid defeat – and a 3-0 series loss.
Gayle left the field waving his bat aloft, soaking up the warm and prolonged applause from the crowd, a gesture indicating that would be the last time he would be wearing West Indies colours.
India captain Virat Kohli’s impressive 114 helped his side to a six wicket victory on the DLS method, and he was also swept up by the occasion, gushing about how Gayle was a “gem of a human being” and “always kind” as a tribute to his former Royal Challengers Bangalore team-mate upon his retirement.
But retired-not-retired Gayle said after the game: “I didn’t announce any retirement.”
West Indies captain Jason Holder said: “To my knowledge, he [Gayle] has not retired.
“But today was an example of his career. He was entertaining, he showed presence, and that’s just what people have come to expect of Chris Gayle over the years.”
Prior to the World Cup, Jamaican Gayle also revealed he wanted to play in an upcoming Test match against India on home soil, but he has not been selected in the squad.
Rafael Nadal clinched an emotional Davis Cup victory for Spain over Canada when he beat Denis Shapovalov in front of a jubilant home crowd in Madrid.
The youngster saved two match points with blistering back-to-back winners and fashioned a set point of his own, but finally succumbed when he netted a forehand.
Nadal dropped to the ground before being mobbed by his team-mates. When he finally got to his feet, he held aloft Bautista Agut in a tight embrace as the cheers rang out.
“An amazing week, a lot of things we went through – the father of Roberto passed away… a lot of things happened,” Nadal said.
“I could not be happier. It has been an unforgettable moment in this amazing stadium; we can’t thank the crowd enough. Our team spirit prevails.”
Bautista Agut puts aside grief to deliver for Spain
While Nadal’s victory settled the title, it was Bautista Agut’s performance so soon after his bereavement that heightened the emotions.
Bautista Agut went home on Thursday after his father was taken ill. The Spanish federation later announced the player’s dad had died.
But the world number nine returned to Madrid to watch his team-mates beat Great Britain in the semi-finals on Saturday before being recalled for the final.
The 31-year-old, whose mother died last year, pointed to the sky after claiming victory when Auger-Aliassime went wide on the first of three match points.
He hugged his captain Sergi Bruguera before leaping into the arms of his delighted team-mates in the stands.
“It was very special feeling on the court and I just could go out to try my best, give my best,” he told Eurosport.
“I am very happy I could win the first point for Spain.”
Auger-Aliassime was playing his first match at the revamped tournament this week after an ankle injury, with Canada reaching their first final by using just the same two players in all of their singles and doubles matches – Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil.