West Indies in England 2012 June 6, 2012

Sammy delight at Gayle's return


Darren Sammy did his best to conceal a big and wide smile but was not shy to admit how happy he would be to see Chris Gayle re-enter the West Indies dressing room soon. Gayle was part of the 15-man squad announced on Sunday by the Caribbean selectors for the three-match ODI series and the solitary Twenty20 to be played in England from June 16.

Gayle's inclusion brought to an end the bitter dispute between him and the WICB, which started immediately after last year's World Cup and kept him out of international cricket for 15 months. But both parties cleared the "residual" issues during a meeting in St Vincent, which was attended by Gayle, Julian Hunte (WICB president) along with West Indies Players' Association chief executive Michael Hall. Also present were Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St Vincent, and Baldwin Spencer, the Antigua & Barbuda Premier, both facilitators instrumental in resolving the issue.

"I think we have a very exciting one-day team with the inclusion of Chris Gayle," Sammy said. "Our previous ODI and Twenty20 series against Australia was very good for us; we drew both series. So with guys like Chris and Dwayne Smith adding more power, I am very excited, but I have to focus on this Test. After this is over, we will focus on the ODI series." It is understood that Gayle along with the other players picked for the one-dayers, would join the West Indies squad in Birmingham on June 9.

In his first press conference on this tour, at Hove, Sammy mentioned that if and when Gayle comes back, he would need to get used to the "hardworking culture" put in place by Ottis Gibson, the West Indies coach. Today Sammy was more lenient, saying Gayle would easily slip into the team environment without much fuss. "He is a professional and will do what is necessary for the team," Sammy said.

Last month, Gayle decided to forsake his contract with the Somerset, as it clashed with the ODI series in order to commit himself to West Indies cricket. That was an important step which convinced the WICB that he was serious about his comeback. For all the positive speak that Sammy and his troops have so far uttered on this trip, the West Indies captain knows he needs able and experienced generals like Gayle and Chanderpaul on his side if West Indies have to finally start seizing opportunities.

"It is good to have him back," Sammy said. "We all know what he has done for us in the past, and hopefully, he can come into the squad and pass on the experience to the younger players because he has been a phenomenal limited-overs player for us. We expect to win this upcoming series because looking at this squad, we should pose a serious challenge to England and win games."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Vivek on June 8, 2012, 18:07 GMT

    England to win series by 2-1. WI to win the T20.

  • Baundule on June 8, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    I really feel for Sammy. He was not treated fairly by the WICB in the past. Now that he is the captain, he can not speak against the WICB. He never raised his voice to have Gayle in the team. Gayle is a successful International cricketer in all formats of the game. He is certainly a hard working man in his own way and he does not need to learn anything in that aspect from his below international standard colleagues.

  • Carl on June 8, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    WI team I would like to see playing in the test series against New Zealand...

    1.C.Gayle 2.A.Barath/K.Powell/K.Brathwaite (whoever is in form) 3.D.B.Bravo 4.S.Chanderpaul 5.M.Samuels 6.L.Simmons (wk) 7.D.Sammy (c) 8.J.O.Holder 9.R.Rampaul 10.S.Narine 11K.Roach

    with K.Edwards, D.Bishoo, J.Taylor and D.Johnson also in the set up. It is high time to move forward with a new attack, led by Roach, so bring in Holder, the giant accurate pacer, and the fast left armer Johnson. Forget Fidel and Tino, they have had more than their fare share of chances. Roach, Rampaul and Sammy have enough experience, now we need some pace and bounce!

  • Dummy4 on June 8, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    Sammy have always been a great person, Gayle was the person who made comments about Sammy but as a West Indian it great to have Gayle back hope he leave the cricket politics out and be a good example to the young players and not a distraction. Die hard West Indies fans have been hurting for too long now for poor results and all the off the field stupidness, time for everyone to start acting like adults for the good of the people of the West Indies. Time to put the pride back in the cricket and stop braking the heart of the West Indies people.

  • Ritvik on June 8, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    West Indies have one of the best limited overs players! Seven all-rounders in one team? Gayle, D.Smith, Bravo, Samuels, Pollard, Russell, Sammy all in one team? Exciting times ahead! Add Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Narine, Edwards and Rampaul to that..what a team! West Indies has gotta be the most flamboyant and exciting T20 team in the world.

  • Nadeem on June 7, 2012, 20:06 GMT

    Gayle is good cricketer and i would be happy to have a good player in my team any time. Gayle needs to understand that he is no more captain of the team and no more boss so he needs to evolve and become a better player so that we fans can remember him as good WI player not great IPL player.

    I hope Gayle comes back with bang and win matches for WI because WI looks hapless in England.

  • Sundeep on June 7, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    Gayle should bring English bowlers back to their senses

  • Sharky on June 7, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    Yes, this sounds like good team spirit. A Captain that respects his soldiers gets visa versa. Now the team can move ahead as a unity.

  • Anupam on June 7, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    irish or namibia gets the test status and WI removed from test. gayle has to take retirement from test cricket so he can play the t20 tournament all over the world without any hurdles and without facing any fans expectation.

  • Dummy4 on June 7, 2012, 10:14 GMT

    its good that Gayle and the other guys are back, however one of the good things i have noticed about this current WI team is that are playing as a team supporting their captain. there is no evidence of personality problems in the camp. Gayle and the other guys have to come back with the right attitude to maintain that team unity. If they don't we will end up in the same problem.

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