Gayle to play in Caribbean T20
Chris Gayle will join the Jamaica squad in the ongoing Caribbean T20 as a replacement for the injured Andre McCarthy. Expected to fly in to St Lucia immediately, Gayle is likely to be available for selection for Jamaica's final league match against the Combined Campuses and Colleges on Friday.
Gayle's inclusion is bound to inject confidence into the Jamaicans, who are currently lying second behind table-toppers and defending champions Trinidad & Tobago, on 13 points. But their batsmen have failed to dominate, with not a single player scoring a fifty.
Gayle would also expect to set his own record for Jamaica straight: in the eight Twenty20 matches he has played for Jamaica, he has managed just 136 runs.
The explosive opener, who topped the run charts in the last two editions of the IPL with powerful batting performances, has been low on form after his below-par performances for Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League. Thunder were the poorest team in the tournament, failing to notch a single win in eight matches. Gayle just got one fifty, departing the tournament with 137 runs from seven matches.
Still, an aggressive 65, including a 25-ball half-century, in the final match would have boosted his morale and that of Jamaica now.
Last month, the Jamaican selectors were forced to omit Gayle from the final squad after the batsman said he would be available in the event Thunder failed to qualify for the knockouts. According to the tournament rules, the only way Gayle could be included in the squad was a replacement for an injured player.
Currently second on the points table, Jamaica are favourites to qualify for the play-off stage when they play on Saturday.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo