West Indies in England 2012 May 3, 2012

Gibson, Sammy pleased to have Gayle back


West Indies have openly embraced the return of their premier batsman Chris Gayle, who on Wednesday committed to making himself available for selection for the one-day leg of their tour of England. In doing so he decided to forsake his contract with Somerset as an overseas player for the Friends Life t20 and Ottis Gibson, the West Indies coach, said if Gayle was available, he would "definitely be picked".

However, West Indies captain, Darren Sammy, warned that his predecessor will need to get used to the new "hardworking culture" put in place in the West Indies dressing room.

Speaking at West Indies' media conference at Hove, ahead of a three-day tour match beginning on Saturday, Gibson said: "It is great to hear that Chris is available again. I'm sure the selectors will pick him, because he is world-class. If he's made himself available for the one-day series, I can't see him not being selected."

Gibson, who has been openly critical of Gayle in the past, was confident that despite having not played international cricket since the 2011 World Cup, the opener would slip back into the team environment without fuss. "It will be very easy [for him]," Gibson responded, after being asked whether Gayle would find it difficult to re-establish himself in the international arena. "He's the best one-day batsman in the world. So I don't think it will be a problem at all.

"He plays very well, going into many different dressing rooms all round the world and making runs. I don't think coming into ours will be any different."

Sammy said the team had not been distracted by the standoff between Gayle and the WICB, which has remained the main West Indies talking point in the last year, despite the team making gradual progress in certain areas. Asked if it had been unsettling for him to read about the Gayle issue all the time, Sammy pointed out he was busy drilling in the new culture that he and Gibson had put in place.

"I don't necessarily focus on that. I am more focused on what the team is trying to do," Sammy said. "The Chris Gayle issue has been going on for a while but we as a team have moved on and as you could see the last series we played we came out with a new attitude: where we are not going to let anybody keep us down. We are going to strive to move forward. When Chris joins the set-up, he will be coming into a very hardworking environment in which he has to fit in."

At the same time Sammy said Gayle's return could only be a good thing for West Indies cricket. "As a captain, whoever comes into the dressing I know myself and the coach would welcome them. Obviously we would urge them to contribute to the team's success. If he is in it is all good for us. We all know what he is capable of doing and hopefully he could fit in nicely and do the job to take West Indies cricket forward."

Gayle had ruled himself out of selection for the three-Test series against England having got a NOC from the WICB to participate in the IPL, where he represents Royal Challengers Bangalore. Gibson did not entirely agree with the opinion that some West Indies players were more interested in the monetary gains accrued from playing in lucrative Twenty20 tournaments around the world, while they picked and chose which series to play in national colours.

"In an ideal world you would want all your best players available to you all the time and still be making money and the board to be able to say to somebody 'we don't want you to go to the IPL, so we will pay you X amount of money to stay at home and play for us', but the reality is that is not possible in the Caribbean because of the financial situation," Gibson said.

In such a situation, Gibson said the WICB did not have much to bargain with. "The board has tried to negotiate, if you like, with people. That is what it has come to. That is the reality. So some guys can go off and play in the IPL and come back and play in the one-day series for instance. It is a little bit of give and take. It is good to see some of the guys go down that road rather than say they are unavailable completely. So it is not ideal but it is what it is and we just have to get on with it really."

Edited by Alan Gardner

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dominic on May 5, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    Is good to hear Chris Gayle wil be back in International cricket soon but I wont elaborate on this topic, all I can say it is about time. I hope west Indies is looking at the mastery of Narine and the manager should be speaking to him soon about a central contract. I believe we are looking at the best spinner in the world. W.Indies cricket has been in decline for so long we should therefore waste time when an exciting cricketer arrives on the scene.

  • Sharky on May 5, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    Aaaah, brilliant news. The best news of the week by far ! The Great West Indies are rebuilding again. In the last series against Australia, you could see the new culture Sammy is talking about and I'm loving it. They've now got a Big squad of players that can play international standard cricket and it is understanding that they will lose some players for T20 series involving money, because of the Caribbean financial situation. And still can they work together as brothers in a unit, although their different situation. Great work by Gibson, Sammy & co.

  • Minos on May 5, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    i think that gayle has realised that if he is to continue commanding BIG BUCKS from the likes of the IPL and pro20 franchises, he must play international cricket to remain in the FAN SPOTLIGHT.

    it's a purely selfish decision. not that i think there's anything wrong in it -- when you put it all in the context of a cricketing world flailing about in an IPL-induced lucre-frenzy.

  • Dummy4 on May 5, 2012, 8:35 GMT

    The problems in West Indies cricket are great, maybe Gibson is incapable of coaching the the established players in the side.Welcome back Chris I see interesting times ahead.

  • Dummy4 on May 5, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    Who the hell is Sammy who dares to advice Chris Gayle? What are his cricketing credentials? It's like the lame Duck M.S. Dhoni providing cricketing advice to Sachin Tendulkar.

  • Jonathan on May 5, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    lol a question that hasn't been answered up to this day

  • Dummy4 on May 5, 2012, 1:55 GMT

    why is Sammy still the captain?

  • Dummy4 on May 5, 2012, 1:25 GMT

    west indies have opportunity to beat england

  • Gilliane on May 4, 2012, 22:25 GMT

    Welcome back Chris Gayle!!! The Windies Cricketers that have the pleasure playing with Chris alone knows what he is as team player. You people out there just like to make things more graver than it is. This is a team sport or else we would have one man playing for West Indies. Judging from some of these comments here, I realize that this is the same mentality some of the windies players may have. We cannot go anywhere with sure attitudes. Let the players unite. I am sure Gayle is not worried about the changes that have been made to the team and I dont find anything wrong with what Sammy said. All that crap talk in here just keeping the team divided. No wonder WICB crash the chatroom!!! Peace and love!!!

  • Ammy on May 4, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    Cricket is one of those few sports that is defined more by character than anything else. Unity of purpose and interests is an essential component of a cricketer's character. For international cricket to thrive, we need strong, competitive teams not individuals. Nobody comes to watch matches in which only one or two stars are playing, otherwise even matches b/w heavyweights and minnows would be sellouts. The likeable thing about Sammy is that he is dedicated towards making his team succesful, which is a good sign for International cricket whereas Gayle is hunting for personal fortune. To be honest, its boring to see him play for 5 different teams at diff times. Its like, he is completely devoid of any feeling of devotion and dedication. It would be good if ICC came up with a fifa style structure with each country having its own league and Inter league competitions. Otherwise, we will have a survival of the richest rule where the wealthiest board will be able to retain its players.

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