Chris Gayle has brightened his chances of earning a recall to the West Indies squad by pulling out of a T20 contract with English county Somerset and declaring himself committed to playing for the national team in all forms of the game.
The move could see Gayle coming back for the national team’s upcoming tour of England, which would end his year-long standoff with the WICB that stemmed from comments the left-hander made about the board in a radio interview last April.
“I wish to advise that as of today, May 2nd, 2012, I have written to Somerset CC and advised them that I will not be honouring the commitment I made to them when I signed a contract with them for the 2012 (Friends Life t20).
“I made it clear to them that my decision was made because of my commitment to West Indies cricket and to West Indies cricket fans, and because … I believe that it is time for the WICB to make a decision which will provide a clearer view of my own future,” Gayle said in a statement.
Ignored for the Test series in England, WICB chief executive Ernest Hilaire said the player could not be considered unless he categorically made himself available for the one-day series, which clashed with the Friends Life T20, a tournament for which Gayle had agreed to play with Somerset.
“I understand that by making this decision, it may place me in a position of considerable risk, since I am foregoing a signed contract, without any guarantees whatsoever, with only the hope that I will be selected to play for the West Indies again.”
“I have now satisfied all of the requests of the WICB and their selection panel, with whom I met via teleconference yesterday, and to whom I reiterated previous assurances given to the board regarding my availability,” Gayle said.
“So that there is no doubt, I confirmed to the selectors that I was available for West Indies duty in all forms of cricket, immediately following the conclusion of my contractual obligations to my IPL franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore,” he added.
A smash hit in the IPL, Gayle has not played for West Indies since the 2011 World Cup.
“This has been a difficult time, and I wish to sincerely thank everyone who has supported me, my family and friends, and in particular cricket fans worldwide who have continued to show appreciation for me wherever I have played.
“I look forward to once again putting on the maroon, and resuming my international career and my service to West Indies cricket.”